Housing Advice - Former members of the armed forces

East Herts Council are signatories to the Hertfordshire Armed Forces Community Covenant which aims to improve the lives of returning armed services personnel and their families

Current members of the armed forces

If you are in the armed forces you should be provided with housing advice and information, through the Joint Service Housing Advice Office and the Veterans Hub Online, before you are discharged. Some people, who have served in the armed forces for a long period or are medically discharged, may be offered assistance with resettlement by the Ministry of Defence's resettlement staff.

Veterans leaving service accommodation and former service personnel

If you are leaving the armed forces the MOD will issue you with a Certificate of Cessation of Entitlement to Occupy Service Accommodation six months before you are discharged. The certificate will indicate the date on which entitlement to occupy service accommodation will end.

If you expect to be homeless following discharge, or you are a former member of the armed forces who is homeless or threatened with homelessness, you should contact the council as soon as possible.

You will be invited to an appointment with a housing options officer who will assess your housing and support needs and agree a personal housing plan with you. This is a plan of the steps you will be expected to take to remain in your current home if you have one or find somewhere to live. It will also set out how the council will support you and what other agencies you should engage with to help you find and sustain a home.

There are a number of ways that we may help, such as referring you to hostel accommodation or lending you the deposit for a home in the private rented sector. You will be advised on making an application to the Housing Register if you have not already done so.

If we are unable to prevent you from becoming homeless or you are already homeless, we will assess whether you have a priority need under the terms of the Housing Act 1996. If you have dependent children that live with you or there is a pregnant woman in the household you will automatically be in priority need. If this is not the case we will look at whether you are in priority need due to being vulnerable.

  • the impact that being in the armed forces has had on you;
  • any mental or physical health problems,
  • drug and/or alcohol issues;
  • the impact of any time you have spent in care;
  • other factors that might limit your ability to find and sustain accommodation;
  • any support you are getting from either formal or informal sources.

Additionally, we will investigate whether you have a local connection. To have a connection to East Herts you must:

  • have lived in the district for six out of the last 12 months or three out of the last five years, by choice - this includes being in in accommodation provided by the MOD; or
  • work in the district; or
  • have a close family member that lives in the district and has done do for at least five years; or
  • have another special reason for needing to live in East Herts

If you become homeless

If you are in priority need, but do not have a local connection we will refer you to a local authority to which you do have a connection.

If you are not in priority need, the council will not have a duty to provide you with temporary accommodation. In these circumstances, we will continue to work with you for up to 56 days to help you to find somewhere to live.

If we decide that you are in priority need and have a local connection, you will be provided with temporary accommodation for up to 56 days. During this time we will continue to work with you to find a more permanent home. We will also look at the circumstances that caused you to become homeless and make a decision on whether you are intentionally homeless.

You will not be intentionally homeless for having lost your accommodation as a result of taking up an option to give notice to leave the armed forces.

If you are in priority need and not intentionally homeless, the council will continue to provide you with temporary accommodation until we are able to offer you more permanent accommodation either in the private rented sector or in social housing.

The Veteran's Housing Advice Service

The Veterans' Housing Advice Service, initially provided by the Cobseo group of charities and delivered by The Royal British Legion, Connect Assist and Shelter, has now been merged into the Veterans' Gateway. The service is supported by a resident housing specialist located in the contact centre.

Advice and assistance can be accessed on the above link. You speak directly to an advisor 24 hours a day seven days a week by calling 0808 802 1212.

Aside from support with accessing accommodation the service offers help with a wide range of other issues such as finding a job, mental and physical health, living independently and families and relationships.

Find out more about housing and homelessness on our Independent advice and debt agencies page.

For other information you may find useful, please see;