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Where to get help with housing as a veteran

Support and advice for homeless veterans and where to get help with finding accommodation.

This content applies to England

Help for veterans and service leavers facing homelessness

In addition to general services available to people who are homeless, some services provide housing advice and support specifically to veterans and service leavers who are at risk of homelessness.

Most services also offer support to the families of veterans, including widows, widowers and separated partners.

Defence Transition Services

Defence Transition Services (DTS) provides advice and information to service personnel who are leaving the armed forces and might need additional assistance. This service was previously delivered by the Joint Service Housing Advice Office.

DTS can help with a range of issues relating to leaving service, including advice on housing. DTS run regular briefings on civilian housing to share information about the housing options which may be available to service leavers.

Veterans' Gateway

Veterans’ Gateway provides information and support for veterans and can be contacted 24 hours a day by phone, chat, email, and text. They provide support with employment, finances, mental and physical health, homelessness and housing issues.

Veterans’ Gateway can refer veterans in need of additional support to other specialist organisations where required.

Op Fortitude

Op Fortitude is a centralised pathway for veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The service offers support such as help to sustain a tenancy or referrals into supported housing. The support provided is based on an assessment of the veteran's needs.

Referrals can be made online or by phone.

Referrals can be made by members of the public, the veteran themselves or by agencies including:

  • homelessness charities

  • veteran charities

  • local authorities

  • probation services

  • Defence Transition Service (DTS)

Help for veterans and service leavers to find accommodation

There are a number of services which aim to help veterans and service leavers to access longer term housing options, such as social housing or home ownership.


STOLL provides supported housing to vulnerable veterans, in particular those who have support needs due to physical disability, mental health issues, substance misuse, homelessness or ongoing health conditions.

Widows and widowers of veterans with a support need are also eligible to apply for housing.

Veterans' Nomination Scheme for social housing

The Veterans' Nomination Scheme is run by STOLL and aims to match veterans with suitable social housing properties, by partnering with social landlords. The scheme primarily has access to one-bedroom flats and studio properties for single people and couples without children, who may otherwise struggle to access social housing.

Certain organisations which work with veterans can make referrals to the scheme. Applicants are added to a waiting list and can then bid or be nominated for available properties. The scheme covers the whole of England.

MOD referral scheme

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) referral scheme is an agreement between social housing providers and the Ministry of Defence to help service leavers into social housing.

The scheme is open to armed forces personnel six months either side of their discharge date, if they live in either:

  • service accommodation

  • the Services Cotswold Centre

  • a hostel

The scheme is also open to certain separated spouses of a partner who is resident in the same types of accommodation.

Haig Housing Trust

Haig Housing Trust is a housing provider for ex-Service personnel in the UK with over 1,500 properties. The Trust assists eligible Veterans in housing need.

Properties are located across the UK in over 50 locations and available to qualifying beneficiaries at an affordable, charitable rent. Haig Housing also offer advice, guidance and signposting to other veterans charities and organisations to assist those in housing need.

The Trust also provides some joint purchase properties for severely wounded or injured or service personnel and veterans. Any property will be jointly owned with Haig Housing Trust. This scheme enables the purchase of a home in a suitable location close to family, friends and support network.

Forces Help to Buy

Forces Help to Buy is a scheme which allows service personnel to borrow up to 50% of their salary towards the purchase of a property.

The maximum which can be borrowed under the scheme is £25,000 and the loan is interest free.

First Homes Scheme

The First Homes Scheme enables certain first-time buyers to buy a property for 30-50% less than the market value. The scheme is open to first-time buyers over the age of 18, who are able to get a mortgage for at least half the price of the home and have a household income which is under £80,000 (£90,000 in London).

There are usually other requirements regarding living in the area or being an essential worke, but certain groups are exempt from these requirements, including:

  • members of the armed forces

  • divorced or separated spouses or civil partners of a member of the armed forces

  • widows or widowers of a deceased member of the armed forces (if their death was caused wholly or partly by their service)

  • veterans who left the armed forces in the last 5 years

General support for veterans and service personnel

Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion (RBL) supports serving and ex-service personnel from all armed forces, and their families.

RBL provides advice to veterans on housing, employment and financial issues, as well as support with physical and mental wellbeing. Support can be accessed via phone or online chat.


SSAFA provides practical, emotional, and financial support for serving personnel, veterans and their families in their time of need.

SSAFA runs Forcesline which is a free and confidential telephone helpline and live chat for members of the Armed Forces, veterans or family members in need. Forcesline is independent from the chain of command.

RAF Benevolent Fund

The RAF Benevolent Fund provides life-long support to serving and ex-serving RAF personnel and their families. Eligible applicants can apply to the fund for financial grants and assistance.

Army Families Federation

The Army Families Federation offers confidential advice to army families and is independent of the armed forces.

AFF has guidance for common housing queries relevant to army families.

The Naval Families Federation

The Naval Families Federation offers support and advice to current members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and their families.

NFF has guidance for common housing queries relevant to naval families.

RAF Families Federation

The RAF Families Federation offers practical support to current members of the Royal Air Force and their families.

The RAF Families Federation has guidance for common housing queries relevant to RAF families.

Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) supports sailors, marines and their families for life.

The RNRMC has an in-house transition support service to help involuntary service leavers with any issues they may face, including housing, when leaving the Royal Navy or Royal Marines unexpectedly for whatever reason.


COBSEO is the confederation of service charities. The housing cluster of COBSEO includes the main providers of general needs and supported housing for the ex-Service community in its Directory of Dedicated Services for Veterans.

These organisations provide a range of:

  • supported accommodation

  • general needs housing

  • sheltered housing

  • floating and outreach support

  • day centres

  • placement services

The Directory lists these organisations, where in the UK they operate, support provided, application criteria and contact details.

Last updated: 13 July 2023