Houses are undeniably expensive in the UK. Fortunately, there are a number of services and organisations that provide help with housing for members of the armed forces, veterans, and their dependents.

We have put together this handy guide to help you find the help that you need depending on your situation. 

What Happens When I Leave The Armed Forces?

Leaving the armed forces comes with a lot of changes, including leaving the Ministry of Defense (MOD) accommodation. 

If you’re currently living in Single Living Accommodation (SLA), you’ll need to make new housing arrangements, and move to civilian housing. If you’re occupying Service Family Accommodation (SFA), you may be required to pay more if you don’t move out. 

The MOD issues you with a Certificate of Cessation of Entitlement 6 months before you leave the military. This certificate indicates the date that you’re no longer entitled to MOD housing.

Some service leavers are prone to homelessness. In such cases, the service leaver can choose a local authority and the MOD will refer them to the local authority.

Where Can I Get Help With Housing?

Housing can be very expensive and it often requires a huge financial commitment. So, how can you ensure that you’re making the right decision when it comes to housing, as a member or ex-member of the armed forces?

There are a variety of resources that you can utilize in the UK depending on your specific circumstances.

Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO)

JSHAO is dedicated to helping both service personnel and service leavers with housing. They provide information and guidance that is useful when transitioning to the unfamiliar civilian housing. With this advice you can make an informed decision on the best options for you. JSHAO is also in charge of the MOD Referral Scheme and they work with Local Authorities to provide social housing.

JSHAO offers a lot of support and advice through housing briefs that you can currently attend virtually. With these briefings, you can learn about purchasing and renting homes, affordable home ownership schemes, the mortgage process, and the MOD referral scheme.

You can also gain useful insights from JSHAO through the Housing Matters magazine. There are 4 publications each year, and they can be instrumental when considering civilian housing.

Single Person Accommodation Centre for the Ex-Services (SPACES).

If you’re a single service personnel who is about to leave the armed forces, SPACES may be the ideal organisation for you.

SPACES caters to single service leavers regardless of rank and length of service and helps them find fitting accommodation.

SSAFA - the Armed Forces Charity.

SSAFA offers both emotional and practical support to members of the forces who are currently serving, veterans, and their families. 

Once you leave the armed forces, you can seek unbiased information and advice on housing from SSAFA. Their experts will advise on a variety of issues including, homelessness, acquiring social housing, tenants’ rights, mortgage arrears, repossession and eviction.

Haig Housing.

With Haig Housing, veterans and their families can find houses that they can rent at affordable costs. If a veteran is wounded or disabled, this charitable housing Trust can offer modifications and alterations that are suited to their specific needs. Haig Housing is the strategic housing partner for Help for Heroes.

Care Homes for Veterans.

There are several care homes that specifically cater to elderly and disabled veterans. If you’re seeking information about these services, you can contact the Royal British Legion.

Help for Homeless Veterans.

Once you receive the Certificate of Cessation of Entitlement from the MOD, you can seek help from the local council if it’s likely that you’ll be homeless on discharge.

If you have nowhere to go after discharge, you can keep staying at the MOD accommodation for a while. The MOD will need to issue you with a 93-day Notice to Vacate. 

Homeless veterans can also find help from military charities such as;

  • Veterans Gateway.
  • Veteran Aid.
  • Royal British Legion.
  • Stoll.
  • SSAFA.

List of Useful Sites.

Armed Forces Covenant.

The Armed Forces Covenant aims to ensure that service personnel, veterans, and their dependents are supported and treated fairly. For more information on the covenant, you can visit their website.

Veterans Gateway.

You can contact the Veterans Gateway regardless of the type of support that you need and they’ll put you in touch with an organisation that can offer further help. You can visit their website for further information and help.

Defense Transition Services (DTS).

This organisation works jointly with the Veterans Welfare Service (VWS) to help service leavers and their families transition to civilian life. 

You can contact DTS here

Jobcentre Plus.

Jobcentre Plus has offices around the country. They can help you with your job search and training, advise on benefits, and offer financial guidance. You can contact your local Jobcentre Plus office for specialized help or call 0800 169 0190 for general enquiries. 

Help for Heroes. 

This organisation offers lifelong support for veterans who are struggling with sickness and injuries due to their service. You can call Help for Heroes through 01980 844280.


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