Homeless Ex-Armed Forces
If you're leaving the armed services, or are a former member, you may be entitled to extra help if you become homeless. This advice looks at your rights and the additional help that may be available.
Homelessness rights for ex-forces
You may qualify for help if you are a former member of the armed forces and are homeless or threatened with homelessness. You will have to prove to the Council that you are eligible for housing assistance, and have not made yourself intentionally homeless.
Subject to you satisfying the above criteria, we can help you with both emergency and longer-term accommodation, if it is accepted that you are homeless and in priority need with regard to needing accommodation.
We will consider if we can help you using both general rules that apply to everyone and special rules that apply to people who were in the forces.
General rules for people in priority need
It can be easier to get help if you qualify under the general rules for people in priority need, for example, if you have dependent children or are pregnant. Derby Homes will also consider if you are vulnerable in some way. This may involve showing how a disability, mental health problem, addiction or other issue affects your ability to secure housing for yourself compared with other people who are rendered homeless.
Extra homelessness rules for the armed forces
You should also be treated as being vulnerable (and therefore in priority need for accommodation) if you can show that your vulnerability is as a result of being a former member of the armed forces.
When deciding this we may consider:
- how long you were in the forces and what role you had
- if you spent any time in a military hospital
- if you were released from service on medical grounds (and have a Medical History Release Form)
- if you have had accommodation since leaving service and if you have been able to obtain or maintain accommodation since you left
- how long it has been since you left service
To help support your case, you may need to provide medical evidence from the Ministry Of Defence, including a Medical History Release Form (if you were given one). It can be hard to establish that you are vulnerable.
Re-housing in the area of your base
To be accepted as homeless in the local council area where you were based, you must be able to show that you have a local connection with the local area where your base was situated.
You may be able to show a local connection with an area if you:
- currently work in the area
- have lived in the area for six of the last 12 months or three of the last five years
- live with a partner who currently works in the area
If you have left the forces and are not yet working for another employer in the area, you won't be able to show a local connection through working in the area. However, you may still be able to show that you have a local connection, as the time you spent living or working in the area may still count.
You should also consider if you are able to show a local connection with this or another local council area where you have close family connections.
Applying as homeless before discharge from the forces
Contact us if you think you will be homeless after discharge from the services. We do not need to wait until you are made homeless before we can help you.
Once you produce a letter of discharge or some other evidence that confirms the date of your discharge from the Forces, we will begin to offer you help and support in securing accommodation. In the event that you have not sought any housing assistance from this council prior to your discharge from the Forces, you may need to stay in your accommodation as long as possible.
Defence Estates have to give you a Notice to Vacate before they can take you to court, in order that they can obtain a possession order. You can use any Notice to Vacate and any possession order that is obtained against you as evidence in support of your homelessness application.
Alabare Gloucester Veterans
Alabare is a charity Home for Veterans and offers housing and support to ex-Service personnel who are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless. All our residents must have served in the British Armed Forces, click on the link for further information.
Tel: 0808 802 1212
The first point of contact for veterans seeking support, Veterans’ Gateway is made up of a consortium of organisations and Armed Forces charities, including The Royal British Legion, Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Association (SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity), Poppy Scotland, Combat Stress and Connect Assist.
Veterans Gateway put veterans and their families in touch with the organisations best placed to help with the information, advice and support they need, from healthcare and housing to employability, finances, personal relationships and more.
Ex-forces: single, homeless and on the streets
In addition to the help mentioned above there is a range of services for people who find themselves homeless and on the streets, for example:
- Day centres are a useful source of practical support – they provide a warm place to stay during the day and may also be able to offer food, clothing, laundry facilities and showers
- The Royal British Legion might be able to help with a rent deposit contact http://www.support.britishlegion.org.uk/ or call Tel: 0808 802 8080
- SSAFA provide housing advice to people currently serving in the forces and ex services personnel and their families. SSAFA can be contacted through http://www.ssafa.org.uk/ or on Tel: 0800 731 4880
Housing support and advice from Veterans' Housing Advice (VHA)
http://www.veteranshousingadvice.org.uk/ or call 0808 801 0880
Veterans' Housing Advice is a new service which provides clear pathways for ex-Service personnel in housing need throughout the United Kingdom to move into permanent homes.
It is provided in partnership with The Royal British Legion, Shelter and Connect Assist. Its main aim is to make accessing the services of charities easier through a telephone helpline open seven days a week from 8am-8pm. It can, for example, provide a housing intervention that negates the need to consider a rent bond or rent deposit.
This can also be accessed via the Veterans’ Gateway on the number above, which is available 24/7.
STOLL – Housing and helping veterans
www.stoll.org.uk or call 020 7385 2110
Stoll are a specialist support provider for vulnerable veterans, providing 250 affordable homes to rent. They do not provide emergency shelter or support, but run the Veterans’ Nomination Scheme (VNS) which helps Veterans find affordable accommodation with housing associations and local authorities across the country.
They accept referrals from any organisation that works with Veterans, such as The Royal British Legion or SSAFA. You cannot refer yourself to the VNS.
HAIG HOUSING TRUST
http://www.haighousing.org.uk/ or call 020 8685 5777
Haig Housing Trust, known as Haig Housing, was formed in 2008 as a ‘sister’ charity to Douglas Haig Memorial Homes (Haig Homes). The two Trusts were amalgamated on 1 October 2013.
The object of Haig Housing is to provide housing assistance to ex-Service people and/or their dependents. Currently this object is achieved by letting general needs homes at affordable rents to the ex-Service community, and providing tailored housing solutions to suit the individual needs of severely wounded and disabled Veterans. Haig Housing also offers a wide range of housing advice to the Service community and is the Strategic Housing Partner of Help for Heroes.
The Trust has over 1,500 properties throughout the UK which are a mix of family-sized houses, flats, maisonettes and bungalows, built mostly in the 1930s, 1950s and 1990s. The properties are generally on small, well-managed estates ranging in size from six houses up to the largest estate in Morden of over 270 homes. These are located in over 50 different local authorities. Some are subject to the nomination rights of the original Service or regimental organisations which donated the funds for the building. The properties in Jersey are subject to residential qualification for the States of Jersey.
The properties are for rental only, unless they are under the Shared Leasehold Scheme. Haig Housing does not have any sheltered, residential or nursing homes. The majority of homes are suitable for families and only a small number of properties are suitable for single applicants. You can see the spread of housing in their Location and Property Search.
To be considered for housing, you must have a British Armed Forces connection and be in housing need. Applicants for the Trust’s Shared Leasehold Scheme and the Special Needs Housing are considered on a case by case basis. If you are interested in the Shared Leasehold Scheme, visit the Special Needs Purchase page to see if you are eligible.
Applications are assessed using a points system which combines Service Points and Need Points. Priority is normally given to those with greatest need, except where this would lead to unsustainable tenancies, inappropriate use of the housing stock or unstable communities.
ARMY FAMILY FEDERATION
Wales Co-ordinator: Abi Wrigley email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07527 492868
The Army Families Federation (AFF) is the independent voice of Army families and works hard to improve the quality of life for Army families around the world - on any aspect that is affected by the Army lifestyle. AFF is independent of the Army and offers confidential advice. They will deal with your enquiry without revealing your identity.
AFF is often pivotal in achieving improvements for Army families such as changes to Government and military policy and changes to the delivery of how things are provided for families. AFF highlight problems to the chain of command or service providers, and to work with them and other agencies to improve the support they provide to Service families.
AFF also provides a signposting service to help you find the right person to speak to, as well as providing useful information for Army families through its website and magazine, Army&You.
What issues could you tell us about?
We will help with any issue, but some of the main areas we deal with are:-
- Health & Additional Needs
- Education & Childcare
- Army Reserves
- Money Matters
- Employment & Training
- Family Life
Your local Co-ordinator can help you with a local issue or for specific advice, contact one of our specialists. Co-ordinators and Specialists will raise issues with the appropriate Director and Chief Executive when it is necessary to highlight individual issues to senior command.
If you want something changed (to do with your life as an Army family), AFF can negotiate and liaise with command and service providers and your evidence can help us to lobby the Army and the Government for a better life for Army families.