Defence and armed forces – guidance

Civilian housing advice for service personnel and families

A guide to civilian housing schemes, temporary and transit accommodation and homelessness.

The Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) is the MOD’s tri-service focal point to provide service personnel and their dependants with civilian housing information for those wishing to move to civilian accommodation at any time in their career, and for those during resettlement to assist with the transition to civilian life.

Service accommodation

Service accommodation is available to entitled personnel in accordance with JSP 464: Tri-service accommodation regulations (TSARS). If you are not eligibile for service accommodation please read: Service transit and temporary housing.

Please visit the MOD guide for service family accommodation (SFA) to find out more.

Single living accommodation (SLA) is managed locally and questions should be directed to the relevant accommodation or Mess Manager in the first instance.

Forces Help To Buy (FHTB) Scheme

Regular service personnel may be eligible to apply for a ‘Forces Help to Buy’ (FHTB) loan to support homeownership.

Regular service personnel, who are due to leave the armed forces on the Tranche 4 redundancy scheme may be eligible to apply for a ‘Forces Help to Buy Tranche 4’ (FHTB T4) loan to support homeownership.

For full details on both schemes read our Forces Help to Buy guide.

Service transit and temporary housing

Personnel who are not entitled to service accommodation can apply to occupy surplus accommodation. While still serving, applications for transit single accommodation are to be made to the local unit accommodation or mess manager. However, in some locations there is no surplus accommodation.

If you have been the subject of emergency evacuation from overseas or you are in transit between postings, retiring, or you have welfare housing issues; the Services Cotswold Centre at Corsham provides a secure affordable place to stay in temporary housing for families of serving personnel from all 3 services.

In the case of estranged families and those leaving the services, the family is to include 1 child.

The 3 bedroom chalets and converted flatlets are all self catering. They are fully furnished and include cooking utensils, freezer, fridge, cutlery, crockery, bedding and towels. Colour televisions can be hired for £1.50 per week.

The secure 25 acre site has an amenity centre with internet connection, Tavern Bar, games hall (including large screen TV), launderette and children’s playground.

For those staying longer at the centre, there is an excellent early years centre for children from 3 to 4 years old and the county run Lypiatt Primary School for 5 to 11 year olds. 12 to 16 year olds can attend Corsham Secondary school which is near by.

For families who are leaving the services the centre has a limited government furnished assets (GFA) and furniture storage facility.

No pets are allowed on site. Certain other restrictions apply and these will be explained to you on arrival.

The daily charge is £7 per family (those on rest and recuperation pay £10). The rent includes heating, lighting and the laundering of bed linen.

You can write to us:

Services Cotswold Centre
SN13 9TU

Telephone: Civilian: 01225 810 358 Military: (9)4382 45 21

Fax: Civilian: 01225 816 918 Military: (9)4382 45 29


Single service leavers

Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex-Services (SPACES)

SPACES is designed to help single service leavers to find appropriate accommodation when they leave. Through this service the project reduces the likelihood of ex-services personnel becoming homeless or sleeping rough after discharge.

To find out more visit: SPACES

The Foyer Federation

Foyers are locally based schemes, which provide affordable accommodation for young people, who would otherwise be homeless. Tenants are given assistance with training, seeking employment and finding more permanent accommodation. The average length of stay is 12 to 18 months.

Prospective residents will be required to demonstrate that they are in housing need and are fully committed to taking part in a programme of training and preparation for employment if not currently employed. There are approximately 100 Foyers throughout the UK, helping over 5000 young people each year.


If you have not secured housing within 28 days of your ‘Notice to vacate’ in England and Wales or 56 days in Scotland, you can seek assistance from the local authority under Homeless legislation.

There is information about Emergency housing if homeless on

Service specific housing associations

The following are links to some Housing Associations who specifically help service personnel

Further advice and information