Armed forces

Housing for veterans and members of the armed forces

Veterans sometimes need help to find suitable housing when they return to civilian life.

We support current and former members of the armed forces to get social housing when they need it.

Our housing policy allows that:

  • while applicants normally must have lived in the borough for the past 5 years, this doesn’t apply to veterans in the first 5 years after they have left the armed forces
  • compensation for injury received on active service is not included in any financial assessment
  • veterans who apply for housing within 1 year of leaving the forces can have their application back-dated up to 10 years
  • members of the armed forces whose circumstances meet our criteria for housing priority band 3 – reasonable preference – will automatically get an extra priority point, moving them up to band 2

The extra priority point can be given to:

  • serving members of the armed forces, or reserve forces, suffering from a serious injury, illness or disability that is in any way attributable to their service
  • former members of the armed forces living in accommodation provided by the Ministry of Defence
  • the spouse or civil partner of a deceased former member of the armed forces whose death was in any way attributable to their service

All applicants for social housing, including veterans, may have to move to a property type that meets their assessed medical needs – for example, an adapted or level access property.

Find out more about getting council housing.

Welfare reform

Since 1 April 2013, welfare reforms have cut the amount of benefit that people can get if they have a spare bedroom in their council or housing association home.

Benefit will not be cut, however, if a room is left vacant by a member of the armed forces who:

  • normally lives with their parents
  • is deployed on service operations
  • was not dependent on their parents before being deployed
  • intends to return to live their parents after deployment

In this case the serving member of the armed forces is treated as continuing to live at home, and the room in use.

This will not apply for members of the armed forces who usually:

  • live on barracks
  • live away at another address between training or deployment on operations