Help if you’re homeless: veterans
Get help finding somewhere to live if you've left or are about to leave the military and have nowhere to stay.
Help from the military
You can get specialist advice from the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) housing advice service - the Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) - before you leave the forces.
The JSHAO also runs the MOD referral scheme which may help you to find a housing association home. You can apply if you're:
single and living in a hostel within 6 months of leaving the forces
a married or a separated spouse still in living in services family accommodation (SFA)
Help from military charities
Veterans' Gateway can help veterans seeking support. It's made up of a number of military charities and can put you in touch with organisations who can help further.
If you're at risk of homelessness or rough sleeping, you can get help finding accommodation from:
The following specialist housing associations provide longer-term housing for veterans:
Stoll (supported housing for vulnerable veterans)
Haig Housing (general needs housing for ex-service single people and families)
Apply to the council for housing
6 months before you leave the forces, the MOD gives you a Certificate of Cessation of Entitlement. This contains the date that you stop being entitled to forces accommodation.
You can ask the council for help with housing when you receive the certificate if you think you might be homeless on discharge.
The council should:
look into your situation and decide how it has to help
treat you as 'threatened with homelessness' 8 weeks before the certificate expires
You can stay in forces accommodation beyond the date in the certificate if you have nowhere else to go. The MOD will have to issue a 93-day Notice to Vacate.
How the council can help
The council must carry out an assessment of your housing needs if you are homeless now or likely to be homeless within the next 8 weeks.
The assessment includes looking at what accommodation you can afford and any support you might need.
They also draw up a personal housing plan. This sets out the steps you and the council must follow to help you keep your home or find somewhere else to live.
are pregnant or a partner you live with is pregnant
have dependent children who live with you
are under 21 and spent time in care when you were 16 or 17
You also have a priority need if you're classed as 'vulnerable'. This means it's harder for you to cope with being homeless than other people in the same situation.
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 you:
had a front-line role
are disabled or seriously injured
were released on medical grounds
Show the council your Medical History Release Form if you have one.
If you qualify for longer-term housing, you usually have to spend some time in temporary accommodation.
The council doesn't have to help with longer-term housing if you lost your home because of something you deliberately did or didn't do.
This is called being 'intentionally homeless' and could apply if:
get discharged on disciplinary grounds
leave your forces accommodation before you have to
A council or housing association home
You can apply to go on the housing register of any council if you left the armed forces within the last 5 years. You can apply to as many councils as you want.
By law, you must get extra priority on the waiting list if you're homeless and either of the following apply:
you have previously served in the regular armed forces
you're still in the regular or reserve forces and are seriously injured, ill or disabled because of your service
You should also get extra priority if you have to leave services family accommodation (SFA) because your husband, wife or civil partner has died in service.
Help to pay your rent
If you're on a low income and need help to pay rent you can apply for universal credit.
If you try and find private rented housing, you may get help with the up-front costs from a rent deposit scheme.
You can apply for help with food, heating and clothing from a local welfare scheme.
Find your council and ask about the local welfare scheme.
Last updated: 3 April 2018