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Help and housing for armed forces personnel

If you are leaving the armed forces or you are a former member you may be entitled to extra help if you become homeless.

Members of Her Majesty’s regular, naval, military and air forces are generally provided with accommodation by the Ministry of Defence (MOD), but are required to leave this accommodation when they are discharged from service. If a member of the armed forces is going to be discharged from the service the MOD issues a ‘Cessation of Entitlement to Occupy Service Accommodation’ six months before discharge. This certificate indicates when entitlement to occupy service accommodation ends. We will consider this certificate as proof that an individual is threatened with homelessness.

We may be able to offer you advice if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness and are unable to make provisions for yourself. We will work with you to help you to secure suitable alternative accommodation.

Visit the ASK MO website for more information.

Accommodation

We will not have a duty to provide emergency accommodation or temporarily house you unless you are considered to be eligible, homeless and have a priority need. To assess priority need, we will consider the general rules such as whether you have dependent children or are pregnant. We will also assess whether you are vulnerable and how this vulnerability affects your ability to secure accommodation for yourself in comparison to other people who are rendered homeless.

If you can show that your vulnerability is a result of being a former member of the armed forces, you may be assessed as having a priority need. When deciding this, we may consider:

  • the length of time you were in the forces and what role you had
  • if you spent any time in a military hospital
  • if you were released from service on medical grounds (and have a Medical History release form)
  • if you have had accommodation since leaving the service, your ability to obtain and maintain accommodation; and
  • how long you have left the service.

You can visit Shelter for further information about the homelessness criteria. In addition, you can discuss these with your caseworker when making an application for assistance.

Housing support options

The following are a list of organisations that provide housing support. For further information please contact them directly.

Veterans' Gateway

Veterans' Gateway is a new website which provides clear pathways for ex-Service personnel in housing need throughout the United Kingdom to move into permanent homes.

It is provided in partnership with The Royal British Legion, Shelter and Connect Assist, its main aim is to make accessing the services of charities easier through a telephone helpline, text message request service and web chat facility. It can, for example, provide a housing intervention that negates the need to consider a rent bond or rent deposit.

The direct number to an advisor is 0808 802 1212. You can send a text message to 81212 with your details requesting a telephone call back, or use the live chat message facility on the website to chat with an advisor. All services operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Royal British Legion industries

RBLI provides advice and support with housing and care for people leaving the Armed Forces, veterans and their families. They offer a number of family housing schemes, assisted living schemes, and supported housing. Visit the Royal British Legion Industries website for further information.

SSAFA

The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families association (SSAFA) provide free housing advice and assistance existing and former members of the armed forces and their dependants. SSAFA can be contacted through www.ssafa.org.uk.