Housing and ex-services
- are leaving the armed services, or
- are a former member
- you have a housing problem or
- you are homeless
then you may be entitled to additional support.
For more information on how we support the Armed Forces, refer to our Armed Forces Community Covenant.
Before your service comes to an end
If you are living in services accommodation, you will be issued with notice six months before your service ends that your accommodation will be ended at the same time.
During this time you should start to look at your options and help that is available for you through the Career Transitions Partnership (CTP). Their website has a guide for housing.
You can also approach our advice service, HomeChoice to find out about the options are available to you. These are explained in our Housing Options Wizard.
Ex-services personnel are exempt from the general rules that apply to local connection to join the housing register and can apply to join the register regardless of whether they have a connection with South Gloucestershire or not.
What happens if you are not successful in finding accommodation?
Homelessness rights for ex-services
If you are threatened with homelessness or homeless, you can apply to the council under homelessness legislation. We will work with you to prevent or relieve your homelessness. Find out more in our leaflet ‘applying as homeless’.
If you think you will be homeless after discharge from the services you should contact our housing advice service, HomeChoice. We will not wait until you are made homeless before we help you, and this will include looking at what rights you have to remain in your services accommodation after your discharge date to give you more time to find somewhere else.
If you apply as homeless, there are general rules that apply to all homeless applicants that we must consider as to whether we provide you with accommodation. There are extra rules that apply to people who were in the services.
If you are eligible and threatened with homelessness or homeless, we will assess your housing needs and work out a Personal Housing Plan with you.
If you are homeless and have a priority need, you will be provided with emergency accommodation.
A priority need can be, for example, if you have dependent children or a member of your household is pregnant, and for single people we will look to see if you are vulnerable in some way because of your time spent in service.
Extra homelessness rules around vulnerability for the Armed Forces if you are single
You should be treated as being vulnerable and therefore in priority need for accommodation, if you can show that your vulnerability is as a result of having served in the armed forces.
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).
When deciding if you are vulnerable, we may consider:
- how long you were in the forces and your role
- 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
We will link you with existing support networks with the Armed Forces to ensure that the full range of advice and support is provided to you including http://support.britishlegion.org.uk and www.ssafa.org.uk
Further housing support and advice
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. It aims 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.
You can call an advisor direct on 0808 801 0880, or via the Veterans’ Gateway on 0808 802 1212 available 24/7.
If you became homeless intentionally, or you had suitable accommodation since you left service and lost it due to something that you did or failed to do, the council do not have a duty to provide you with accommodation. You will however continue to get advice and assistance and you can still apply to join the housing register.
Re-housing in the area of your base
If you apply as homeless, we will consider if you have a local connection to South Gloucestershire, including time living in this district as part of your time spent in service.
If you do not have a local connection or any other special reason to live in the district, your homelessness application can be referred to a district that you have a local connection with.
You don’t need to have a local connection to apply to go on South Gloucestershire Council’s housing register.
More information is available from Shelter on ex-services and homelessness.
If you are ex-services and have nowhere to stay, you should contact the council’s housing team, HomeChoice on 01454 865496 or email: Homelessness@southglos.gov.uk
List of contacts
South Gloucestershire Council Homelessness Service 01454 865496
Veterans Housing Advice 0808 802 1212
Royal British Legion 0808 802 8080
Saafa Bristol & South Gloucestershire 0748 313 5651
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