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Housing advice

Former members of the armed forces

This information is to assist former members of the armed forces (veterans) with their housing options or who may be threatened with homelessness and to provide links to relevant web sites with in-depth advice and information.

Help before leaving the armed forces

The Joint Service Housing Administration Office ceased as an organisation in 2022. If you have an enquiry about:

  • Your Service Family Accommodation, please contact Pinnacle on: 0800 707 6000 opt 3 or email:
  • Forces Help To Buy, please contact Joint Personnel Administration Centre (JPAC) Helpline on 0800 085 3600 or 0141 224 3600. Email: JPA - contact us
  • Issues with Loss of Entitlement/Notice to Vacate SFA or if you need a reference for housing, these should be addressed to DIO at this link:

If you are a serving member of the Armed Forces due to be discharged (for any reason), are a family member of serving personnel or a veteran and need help to source accommodation or have other issues, such as health, debt or unemployment, please complete and submit a DTRP Form 2.

Defence Transition Services provide holistic support to service leavers who will face challenges before, through and beyond transition. We provide a safety net of support, smoothing and facilitating access to the most appropriate help and advice available in the wider sectors. We will support individuals and/or their families from 2 years before, through to two years after transition as necessary.

Apply for social housing

The Cheshire West and Chester (West Cheshire Homes) Allocations Policy gives a high priority to those who are serving, or who have served, with the armed forces, in line with the Community Covenant for Cheshire. Where the applicant or a member of their household has been injured as a result of service in the armed forces and where the injury is such that their existing housing is no longer suitable, or where they are unable to be discharged from hospital until appropriate housing is found, they will be awarded the highest Band A.

Applicants who are currently serving in the armed forces who are due to be discharged within three months and in housing need will be awarded Band B, high housing need. Applicants who have served in the armed forces within the past five years who have a housing need will also be awarded Band B. You will have to bid for suitable properties once you are on the housing register.

You can apply for a social housing property via the West Cheshire Homes website.

Get advice if you are threatened with homelessness

When the MOD serves you with a Certificate of Cessation of Entitlement it is approximately 93 days (three months) before you leave the armed forces. It contains the date that you lose your entitlement to service accommodation. Staying in SFA beyond that date will deem you an ‘Irregular Occupant’ and you will be charged a daily market rate. Single personnel will not be able to remain beyond their last day.

If you are threatened with homelessness within 56 days, you can make an application for assistance to us under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017. We have a duty to assess your case and agree a personalised plan with you and provide assistance to try to prevent your homelessness. A housing advice and homelessness service is provided by our Housing Options team.

If you are actually homeless we will help you find alternative accommodation or may offer you temporary accommodation if you have an apparent priority need. If you have dependent children you automatically be in priority need, or if someone in your household is pregnant. You may be in priority need because you are considered vulnerable because of time spent in the forces or for other reasons such as mental health issues or a physical disability. It's important to tell us about anything that makes it harder for you to cope with being homeless such as disability or being released on medical grounds.

You will also need to prove that you are eligible for assistance (this relates to your immigration status) and not intentionally homeless. To be accepted as homeless in this area you must be able to show that you have a local connection. This could be through work, residence or close family connections.

You will be advised in writing of the decision on your homeless application. Whatever you discuss with the Housing Options team will remain confidential.

Housing Options can also help you with a bond for private rented housing and access other services such as hostels, day centres or supported housing. You can contact the housing options team by telephone or by completing the online self-referral form:

Self-referral form
  • Telephone: 0808 175 3595

Specialist housing associations

The following specialist housing associations provide longer-term housing for veterans.

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Help with housing costs

Housing Benefit

You might be able to get housing benefit to help pay your rent. More information about claiming housing benefit in Cheshire West can be found on our Housing Benefit pages. 

Universal Credit

In some areas you'll have to claim housing costs through Universal Credit instead. More information can be found on our Universal Credit page.

HELP scheme

Our HELP Scheme can assist people in need with items such as food vouchers or recycled goods.

Help from military charities or voluntary organisations

Veterans' Gateway is a telephone helpline for veterans seeking support. It's made up of a number of military charities and can put you in touch with organisations who can help further.

If you're at risk of homelessness, you can get help to find accommodation from the following organisations.