Housing choices for ex-forces

There are a range of housing choices and sources of advice available to former members of the armed forces.

Applying for council housing

Ex-service personnel can apply for council housing in the same way as anyone else. Government guidance to local councils says that seriously injured personnel should be given high priority for social housing. 

Councils are also allowed to set aside some of their housing stock for people who are geographically mobile, including members of the British Army, Navy or Air Force.

Some councils give preference on their waiting lists to people with a local connection. You can establish a local connection if you have been living in armed forces housing in your local council area.

Some councils publish guidance on how to apply for council housing as a former member of the services. Ask your local council for further details. 

Use the Gov.uk council finder to find the contact details for your local council.

Housing Associations for ex-services

If you have left the forces and already applied for council housing, you may also want to consider applying for housing association properties.

Find out more from the housing options service of your local council.

You could also apply for housing through Haig Homes, a housing association that provides rented housing for people who have served in the armed forces. The majority of homes are suitable for families, with a small number of properties available for single people.

Private renting for ex-services

You may be able to find somewhere to live in the private rented sector.

Read more about rent deposit or bond schemes which can help you pay a tenancy deposit and rent in advance.

Home ownership for people in the armed forces

Serving and former members of the armed forces may be able to apply for affordable housing. 

You could also consider buying a shared ownership home.

Housing for older and disabled ex-services

The Royal British Legion has six care homes catering for ex-Service personnel and their partners.It also provides advice on housing and financial issues. Find out more from the Royal British Legion.

Stoll provides housing and support to disabled ex-service personnel, including people with mental health or substance abuse problems and those who have been homeless.

Maintaining your home and getting adaptations

The Royal British Legion repairs service Poppy Calls helps veterans to stay independent in their own homes. It provides help with minor repairs, fitting smoke detectors and installing care phones.

Many home improvement agencies such as Care and Repair and Staying Put offer similar services. Find you local service using through Foundations, the national organisation for home improvement agencies.

Housing advice for ex-service personnel and their families

The Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) can provide advice and information to service personnel and service families about civilian housing options. 

If you die in service, your family can ask Defence Estates for advice and support with benefits, housing, pensions and other practical matters. Find out more from MoneyForce about help for family members after a death in service.

The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) offers housing advice and home visits to service personnel and their family members. SSAFA has limited accommodation of its own, including a home for disabled ex-service personnel capable of independent living and temporary supported accommodation for separated families.

SPACES (Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex-Services) helps find you accommodation for up to 6 months after your discharge if you are single, ex-services and have no permanent home. If you have been discharged for longer than 6 months, they can provide information and advice only. For more information, contact their helpline on 01748 833797.

If you are homeless and in immediate housing need, contact Shelter's housing advice helpline on 0808 800 4444 or use Shelter's directory to find an adviser in your area.

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