Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Guest Post: Military Housing Programs

Brandon Fischer, who writes for VA Benefits Blog, submitted a guest post about Military Housing Programs:
When government housing is not provided, it can be difficult for Navy service members to find adequate housing overseas. For those who are able to come back to the states and find rentals, living expenses can be hard to keep up with while on extended or permanent duty. That’s why the Department of Defense provides both the Basic Allowance for Housing and Overseas Housing Allowance programs.

Both programs allow service members to obtain housing that’s affordable or, as of 2005, with no out-of-pocket expenses whatsoever. It can also help lenders to discover what mortgage payment plan would be best for veterans looking to buy a home through the VA home loan program as opposed to renting.


BAH is for service members who cannot obtain government quarter with the U.S. The DoD compensates the military member, giving him or her a monthly allowance based on the local housing costs in which he or she resides. Other factors determine how much a service member receives such as pay grade and dependency status.

People with dependents can get about $300 more than single persons. Persons without dependents receive what’s called Partial BAH. There’s also BAH II and BAH Diff for persons paying child support.

Sometimes BAH rates are subject to decreases and increases. However, individual rate protection prevents the fluctuations from affecting the service member in a negative way. This also applies to OHA.


Members stationed overseas who are not furnished government housing, are eligible for OHA, according to the DoD. If a member is serving an UNACCOMPANIED overseas tour, the member is eligible for BAH at the "with dependents" and “without dependents” rate.

Overseas housing allowances change bi-weekly. That’s because the overseas housing system is set up to pay service members for both housing and utilities. Rental ceilings oscillate all the time. However, members still dot have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses and can actually net a little extra funds based on the system.

Taking Advantage of All the Opportunities

For Navy members, a whole list of allowances could be accompanied with the BAH and OHA programs. The Navy Times posted a whole spread about the different allowances available.

For Navy members coming back to the states, they might choose to buy a home. Monthly BAH payments could be put towards mortgage payments. And with programs such the VA loan, military personnel could save a lot of money on both monthly and initial costs. If a veteran or active duty member is interested in buying a home with BAH funds, he or she should talk with VA lending consultant as soon as possible.
If anyone else would like to submit guest posts on relevant topics, I'd be happy to look post them (after stripping out any links that are too commercial). Send me an E-mail [joel(dot)bubblehead(at)gmail(dot)com] and let me know if you'd like to write something for posting here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The OHA fluctuates because it's paid out based on local currency exchange rates, not because it pays for rent and utilities. Service members are reimbursed a constant amount up to but *not exceeding* their actual rent, plus a set amount for utilities/cost of living adjustment. Unless your utility/cost of living adjustments are lower than this, you won't be gaming the system or making money (unless you can get really good at changing money exactly when the exchange rates are the most lucrative, which involves some soothsaying).

7/30/2010 10:27 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree. OHA is definately not a money maker. Probably looks that way in theory but as an actual user (both in the military and as a civil servant), it has never worked out that way.

I would be curious to hear how the privatization of military housing (here in Bangor, for example) has been working out.

7/30/2010 12:43 PM

Anonymous STSC said...

This is where I point Sailors interested in how much OHA will pay out:

Sorry for the lack of HTML tags.

As an example, I ran Guam w/ dependents for a PO2:
Effective: 20100416 Amount
OHA Rental Allowance $ 2450.00
Utility/Recurring maintenance/miscellaneous Allowance $ 755.00
Move-In-Housing Allowance (MIHA) $ 482.00

That plus Sea pay, Sub pay, & AIP (maybe) for going to the tender...Yet still nobody wants to go!

7/30/2010 3:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That plus Sea pay, Sub pay, & AIP (maybe) for going to the tender...Yet still nobody wants to go!"

That's because it is still Guam. You know "Give Up And Masterbate".

Personally, I love Guam. Great hands-on strip bars, massage parlors, dependent wives and daughters. I always had good luck there during upkeeps.

7/30/2010 4:26 PM

Anonymous 3383 said...

This is all academic for me.

As a single surface sailor, I had my bunk.

No housing allowances, no barracks.

Goddamn marrieds got more money, better days off, and didn't get wakeups because they were sleeping on board when someone else messed up.

I eventually got a place on my smaller paycheck (for the same work) but didn't tell my division, much less leave a phone number.

7/30/2010 4:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus Joel, you gonna start
pimping commercials now?? Howabout
having some moron post gmt topics?


7/30/2010 10:34 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Mostly just trying to get people to send in guest posts if they want to.

7/30/2010 11:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would not recommend a BS GMT
topic for the general public my
friend. Howabout a first time
deployment for a Virginia Class in

7/31/2010 1:41 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Send it in!

7/31/2010 9:08 AM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

While you might be able to make a case for OHA in foreign areas, why have it in Guam? It is the same government employment program as the old VHA rules. The whole system is chocked with graft. As house has to be 'listed and approved' by cronies at the housing office before you can lease it or even buy it. Then there is the overhead of processing the leases and mortgages to pay out just what you need.

All a bunch of BS. Just set the ceiling, like BAH, and let the military go into the market to negotiate. The OHA rules offer no benefit to negotiation, thus driving housing prices up. Not only that, but servicemembers on BAH can negotiate rents and actually pocket a lot of money...No way to do that with OHA. The intent may not be to provide more take home pay, but that is the net result--that and housing prices are somewhat controlled.

With BAH we gave the military the right to choose housing and negotiate rent...with OHA we trust it to bureaucrats. It is totally unnecessary to have two systems.

7/31/2010 10:18 AM

Anonymous Georgiana said...

Really effective info, lots of thanks for the article.

9/19/2012 1:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if a US Navy E-6 active duty can sign a lease agreement from his parents to rent his grandmother's house?

11/24/2012 2:03 PM

Anonymous 3 bedroom apartments said...

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7/01/2013 3:18 AM

Anonymous Tampa Limo said...

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9/06/2013 12:04 AM


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