Homeless after leaving the armed forces

Homeless rights for ex-forces personnel

You may qualify for our help if you are a former member of the armed forces and are homeless or threatened with being homeless. In addition, you will have to prove to us that you are eligible for housing assistance and have not made yourself intentionally homeless.

If we're happy that you're eligible, we must help you with both emergency and longer-term accommodation (if we accept you have a priority need with regard to needing accommodation).

The rules we must use

We must consider if we can help you using two sets of rules:

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.

A priority need could mean you:

  • have dependent children
  • are pregnant
  • are vulnerable in a way which affects your ability to secure a home, such as:
  • are disabiled
  • have mental health problem
  • have an addiction

Additional rules for the armed forces

You should also be treated as being vulnerable (and therefore in priority need) 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 MOD, including a Medical History Release Form (if you were given one). It can be hard to establish that you are vulnerable.

You may need to seek independent legal advice, or help from a specialist agency, to make representations on your behalf if we decide that you do not meet the criteria set out above (we don't have a duty to provide accommodation).

Re-housing in the area of your base

To be accepted as homeless in the area where you were based, you must be able to show that you have a local connection to the area.

You may be able to show a local connection with the area, if you:

  • currently work in the area
  • have lived in the area for 6 out of the last 12 months, or 3 out of the last 5 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.

You don't need to have a local connection to apply to go on our Housing Register, if you are currently serving in the armed forces or left in the last 5 years.

Find out more about our Housing Register.