What Is Hawaii BAH?

Blog Post Image
Real Estate

What is Hawaii BAH?  Hawaii BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) is an entitlement given to military members to help with housing costs.  The amount varies from place to place and thankfully for Hawaii it is fairly substantial for all ranks.  


Hawaii BAH 2021 - Oahu



With Dependents

Without Dependents










































































 What is BAH? 

The DoD says Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is a U.S. based allowance prescribed by geographic duty location, pay grade, and dependency status. It provides Service members fair housing compensation based on housing costs in local housing markets within the US when government quarters are not provided.  For instance the BAH rate for an E-5 in Hawaii is $2991 per month.  This is the with dependents rate.  It is slightly less for and E-5 without dependents. 

These BAH rates apply to the island of Oahu and Honolulu County only.  The islands of Kauai, Maui and Hawaii can be found here.  Feel free to share this with friends or bookmark it for future reference.  We will keep it updated for you as well.   

Will I receive Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) while stationed in Hawaii?

You will receive COLA while stationed in Hawaii.  You may use this calculator to determine your COLA.  

Is Army BAH different than Navy BAH?

No, Army BAH in Hawaii is the same as Navy BAH in Hawaii and Air Force BAH.  Military members assigned to Schofield Barracks will receive the same Hawaii BAH as military members assigned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam and Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station.  You should start receiving your BAH as soon as you are officially signed into your duty station.  It will be prorated for the month when you arrive and then will be full BAH rate after that.

Will my military spouse and I both receive Hawaii BAH?

If you are both assigned to Hawaii, then yes.  You will both receive BAH at the without dependent rate if you don't have any dependents.  If you have dependents then the senior military member will receive the with dependent rate BAH and the other member will receive the without dependent rate BAH.

Do I have to use all my Hawaii BAH to pay for a mortgage or rent?

No.  Whatever is leftover is yours to keep.  Conversely if your rent or mortgage is greater than your BAH then you will be expected to pay the difference.  

In all cases concerning questions about your military pay and benefits it is best to contact your local finance or personnel office.

Can you afford to buy a home with your Hawaii BAH? 

That depends on your credit score, how much of a downpayment you can afford, what type of loan you are looking for and many other factors.  If you are thinking about purchasing when you PCS to Hawaii I recommend contacting a lending agent as well as contacting me as soon as possible.  There are several good online calculators to help determine how much you can afford when buying a home in Hawaii.  We like this one from Bank of Hawaii because of how simple it is to use.

It is expensive to live in Hawaii and if you decide to live on the economy, finding affordable housing that suits all or your needs might be challenging.  That's where I can help you.  If you are considering purchasing a home when you PCS to Hawaii don't hesitate to call me at 808-724-4629 for an initial consultation.  I can begin the search for your new dream home in paradise while you and your family are out-processing, saying good-byes and packing your house hold goods.  I can talk to you about schools, shopping, beaches, commissaries, BXs, and any and all things about Hawaii.  I know what's it's like to PCS and I'd like to help in any way that I can to make your move to Hawaii as smooth as possible.


Mahalo.  MaryJo

MaryJo McGillicuddy



Military Relocation Professional



Follow me:

Instagram: @mjloveshawaii

Facebook: @MaryJo McGillicuddy Real Estate Agent


Downloadable Hawaii BAH table for Oahu.  Download and share.

Hawaii BAH chart - 2021