This is an important section as it covers details of the various agencies available to help you find accommodation on leaving the Army. Finding somewhere to live may be one your biggest challenge as you will no longer be entitled to service accommodation.
Retention of Service Family Accommodation (SFA) and Substitute Service Family Accommodation (SSFA)
Joint Services Publication 464 – Tri-Service Accommodation Regulations part 1 and 2 provide authoritative policy guidance on occupation and vacation of SFA or SSFA.
4 months or as soon as possible thereafter, before you discharge, you should inform Defence Housing Ops Housing Information Centre (HIC) of your exit date from the Army. You will then be issued with the following period of notice to vacate your SFA:
– On normal discharge and on Premature Voluntary Release (PVR), the Housing Information Centre will issue 93 days Notice to Vacate timed to expire on the last day of your service.
– For personnel discharged on medical grounds, 93 days continued use and occupancy of the SFA would be permitted after the date of discharge, at entitled SFA charges. Extensions of up to 93 days at a time may be granted on compassionate grounds, at the discretion of the Housing Information Centre, in consultation with the appropriate local service commander, at a non-entitled SFA charges.
– In case of discharge on disciplinary grounds or misconduct a minimum of 28 days notice will be given to you.
If however you find yourself in immediate housing difficulty on leaving the Army you may be allowed to apply for surplus SFA where available, in accordance with regulations contained in JSP 464. There are special provisions made for those selected for redundancy. You are advised to seek advice from your Unit Welfare Officer.
Joint Services Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) provides all Service personnel and their families with information and advice on the increasingly complex range of housing options open.
Forces Help to Buy: help to get on the property ladder
A scheme to help armed forces personnel get on the property ladder.
What is the scheme?
Regular armed forces personnel can benefit from a £200 million scheme to help them get on the property ladder. The Forces Help to Buy scheme enables servicemen and servicewomen to borrow up to 50% of their salary, interest free, to buy their first home or move to another property on assignment or as their families needs change.
The pilot scheme, which launched in April 2014 and has now been extended to 2018, aims to address the low rate of home ownership in the armed forces.
Find out more on the Government website:
Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex-Services (SPACES) is an accommodation placement centre especially for single Service Leavers who are looking for civilian housing. It targets those SL with less than 6 year’s service, or those who have been administratively or medically discharged. Accommodation is available in Catterick, Aldershot and Richmond.
SSAFA Forces Help Housing Advice Service provides housing information and advice to ex-Service personnel and their dependants.
You should be aware that you will not be automatically entitled to council house on leaving the Army. In order to apply, a Certificate of Cessation of Entitlement to Occupy SFA/SSFA and of Impending Homelessness must be completed as soon as it is known that entitlement to occupy SFA/SSFA will cease.
If you receive a gratuity on leaving the Army, this will be taken into account by many authorities who will expect you to use these funds to provide your own home.
Homelessness – Assistance
Local Authorities (LA) have a legal duty under the Homelessness Act 2002 to help you find accommodation if you are threatened with homelessness, have a priority need and can establish a local connection with the area.
You must provide your LA with a ‘Certificate of Cessation of Entitlement for Service Accommodation’ to enable them to provide housing assistance.
Further information can be obtained from Citizens Advice Bureau.
Other Ex-Service Organisations that may be able to help single personnel with housing needs are:
Other useful links: