Get help finding somewhere to live if you've left or are about to leave the military and have nowhere to stay.
Find a place to stay
If you've left the military and don't have anywhere to live you can get housing advice from Shelter.
Call Shelter’s free advice helpline on 0808 800 4444
Help from the military
You can get specialist advice and help finding somewhere to live from the Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO). This is the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) housing advice service. You can get help before and after you leave the forces.
The JSHAO can also pass your details to the MOD referral scheme to help you find a housing association property. Find out more about the scheme on GOV.UK.
Help from military charities
Help finding housing is also available from:
- Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex Services (SPACES)
- Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) (housing and advice)
- Veterans Aid (can help you find a hostel place)
- Veterans UK
- Royal British Legion (housing and care homes for veterans and their families)
- Stoll (if you're disabled, have mental health or substance abuse issues)
- Haig Housing (family housing)
Apply to the council for housing
If you're homeless, you can apply to the council for help with housing. You can do this:
- up to 28 days before you leave the forces
- when you get the certificate that tells you when you need to leave military housing (known as the 'cessation of entitlement' certificate)
Find out more about how to apply to the council for help when homeless.
Who qualifies for help from the council
Help you can get from the council depends on your circumstances.
One of the conditions for qualifying for help is being classed as 'vulnerable'. This applies if you have children.
If you don't have children you may qualify for help if being in the military has made you vulnerable.
It's important to tell the council about anything that makes it harder for you to cope with being homeless. This could be a medical condition or mental illness. Tell the council if any of the following apply to you:
- you had a front-line role
- you're disabled or seriously injured
- you were released on medical grounds (you need a Medical History Release form)
- you find it difficult to find or keep housing
If you apply as homeless, you don't qualify for longer-term housing if you leave housing you could have stayed in. This is called being 'intentionally homeless' and applies if you:
- get discharged on disciplinary grounds (also known as 'dishonourable discharge')
- leave your forces housing before you have to
Find out more about who qualifies for help from the council when homeless.
Help with housing costs
You might be able to get housing benefit to help pay your rent. Find out how to apply for housing benefit on GOV.UK.
If you try and find private housing, you may get help paying the deposit from:
- the MOD tenancy deposit loan scheme - find out more on GOV.UK
- other rent deposit schemes run by councils and charities
You can get help with food, heating and clothing from a local welfare scheme – find a welfare scheme near you.
Still need help?
If you still need help, call the free Shelter helpline on 0808 800 4444.
Last updated - 01 Jan 2016
If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help