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) provides housing information and advice to service personnel and their families to assist them in their transition to civilian life.

Introduction to the Joint Service Housing Advice Office

We produce a monthly Housing Matters magazine. Each month the magazine focuses on a particular region within the UK and various housing topics.

We also produce handouts on a range of housing topics, from Homelessness to choosing a financial advisor to understanding council tax. All of the handouts can provided on request to anyone in the services, Veterans, and their dependants. Requests should be e-mailed to AWS-JSHAO-MAILBOX@mod.uk.

Personnel currently serving, and their families can attend a Housing Brief in their region which covers affordable home ownership schemes, (including Forces Help to Buy), house purchase, private rental, social housing and homelessness. The brief is delivered by JSHAO staff, and whenever possible an Independent Financial Advisor will also provide advice on guidance on Mortgages, savings, and credit scores etc. JSHAO Briefing Dates 2015

Hard copies are also available from unit welfare staff, HIVEs, regional resettlement centres.

We also co-ordinate the MOD Referral Scheme to assist eligible service leavers to get accommodation via housing associations.

Contact us

Joint Service Housing Advice Office

Floor 1 Zone 1
Montgomery House
Queens Avenue

Aldershot
GU11 2JN

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
Neston
Corsham
Wilts
SN13 9TU

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

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

Email: scc-receptionist@mod.uk

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.

Homelessness

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 gov.uk.

Service specific housing associations

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

Further advice and information