Current BAH Rates in Hawaii: How Much Is Basic Allowance for Housing?

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Planning a move to Hawaii and wondering about the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)? Understanding BAH rates is crucial for military personnel and their families to budget effectively in one of the most beautiful yet costly states. Hawaii’s unique cost of living and housing market can make a significant impact on your finances.

BAH rates in Hawaii vary depending on your rank, location, and whether you have dependents. Knowing these rates helps you make informed decisions about where to live and how to manage your expenses. Jump into the details to ensure you’re well-prepared for your Hawaiian adventure.

Understanding BAH in Hawaii

Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) in Hawaii plays a crucial role in financial planning for military personnel. With Hawaii’s high cost of living, knowing the exact BAH rates becomes essential for making informed decisions.

What Is BAH?

BAH provides housing compensation for military members based on rank, location, and whether they have dependents. It’s designed to cover typical housing costs, helping service members afford decent housing without financial strain. Monthly rates vary and directly affect your overall financial wellness.

  1. Rank: Higher-ranking members receive more BAH to reflect their increased responsibilities and seniority.
  2. Location: Specific zip codes in Hawaii, like Honolulu and Pearl Harbor, have different rates based on local housing costs.
  3. Dependents: Members with dependents receive higher BAH to accommodate family needs.

Understanding these factors ensures you receive appropriate housing allowance, helping you and your family live comfortably in Hawaii.

Current BAH Rates in Hawaii

Understanding the current Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates in Hawaii proves essential for military personnel. These rates assist service members in planning their finances effectively and securing a comfortable living arrangement on the islands.

Comparison With Other States

BAH rates in Hawaii often stand higher than many other states. For example, in 2023, the average BAH rate for an E-5 with dependents is approximately $3,024 in Honolulu. In contrast, the same rank in Georgia might receive around $1,827. Higher living costs in Hawaii drive these elevated rates. Comparatively, San Diego, California, another area with a high cost of living, offers an E-5 with dependents a similar BAH rate of roughly $3,099. Such comparisons highlight the necessity of understanding location-specific allowances.

Location E-5 with Dependents (2023)
Honolulu, HI $3,024
Atlanta, GA $1,827
San Diego, CA $3,099

Impact on Local Economy

BAH rates significantly influence Hawaii’s local economy. High BAH rates provide military families with substantial purchasing power, supporting local businesses and the housing market. Service members inject millions into the economy when they rent homes, buy appliances, or dine locally. So, these rates partially stabilize Hawaii’s economy, which relies heavily on tourism and military presence. Reduced BAH rates could diminish this economic support, impacting local employment and business sustainability. Understanding these dynamics helps appreciate the broader economic role of BAH in Hawaii.

Challenges and Solutions for Military Families

Military families moving to Hawaii face distinct challenges due to the island’s unique cost structures and living conditions. Different strategies can help mitigate these challenges.

Housing Affordability in Hawaii

Housing in Hawaii is notoriously expensive. With median home prices exceeding $800,000 and rental prices reaching $2,500 per month, affording a suitable home can be difficult. Military families should consider living on base where possible. On-base housing often provides comparable amenities without the steep costs associated with off-base living.

Strategies to Maximize BAH Benefits

Understanding and leveraging BAH effectively is crucial. First, research neighborhoods wisely. Areas like Ewa Beach and Kapolei offer relatively lower costs compared to urban Honolulu. Second, use online resources like to compare housing options. These websites can provide comprehensive data on rental prices and available homes.

When renting, negotiate lease terms to include utilities, as this can stretch your BAH further. Finally, consider shared housing arrangements with other military families to lower costs. This strategy allows sharing of expenses such as rent and utilities, making it easier to stay within your BAH budget.

Engage in the planning process early. Assess your family’s needs, explore your options, and make informed decisions to ensure a smooth transition and financially stable living situation in Hawaii.


Understanding BAH rates in Hawaii is essential for making informed financial decisions. The high living costs can be challenging, but with strategic planning, you can make the most of your allowance. Consider on-base housing or carefully select neighborhoods to fit your budget. Negotiating lease terms and exploring shared housing options can also help you maximize your benefits. Early planning and informed decisions will ensure a smooth transition and a financially stable living experience in Hawaii.


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