You may qualify for help if you are a former member of the armed forces and are homeless or threatened with homelessness; and you are eligible for assistance. Subject to you satisfying the above criteria Stafford Borough Council could help you with both emergency and longer term accommodation if it is accepted that you are homeless and in need of accommodation. Stafford Borough Council will consider if it can help you using both general rules that apply to everyone and special rules that apply to people who were in the forces.
The following categories of applicants will be afforded a priority status for accommodation on the Home Options Housing Register if they have left the Armed Forces within the last 5 years:
- Those discharged from the Armed Forces as a result of sustaining a serious injury, illness, medical condition, or disability during service which is attributable (wholly or partly) to the person‘s service Those former serving members of the Reserve Forces who need to move because of a serious injury, medical condition or disability sustained as a result of their service
- Those applicants who are in housing need and have been discharged from the Armed Forces such as former armed forces personnel in housing need
- Those bereaved spouses or civil partners of those serving in the regular forces where the bereaved spouse or civil partner has recently ceased to reside, or will cease to be entitled, to reside in Ministry of Defence accommodation • Those applying following the death of their service spouse or civil partner, where the death was wholly or partly attributable to their service
An applicant does not need to meet the Local Connection Requirements to join Housing Register if they are a:
- person who is serving in the regular forces or has done so in the five years preceding their application for housing;
- bereaved spouse or civil partner of someone serving in the regular forces where their spouse or partner’s death is attributable (wholly or partly) to their service and the their entitlement to reside in Ministry of Defence accommodation then ceases;
- seriously injured, ill or disabled reservist (or former reservist) whose injury, illness or disability is attributable wholly or partly to their service.
The Ministry of Defence gives you a Certificate of Cessation of Entitlement 6 months before you leave the forces. It contains the date that you stop being entitled to forces accommodation. You should apply to the council for help with housing when you receive the certificate if you think you might be homeless on discharge. The Council will treat you as ‘threatened with homelessness’ 56 days before the certificate expires and look into your situation. As part of the support offered to you we will complete a Personalised Housing Plan with you and agree actions for both you and the Council to undertake.
You may be considered to be in priority need if we determine that you are vulnerable 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
- if you have been injured during your 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).
The Council may not have a duty to help you if you are homeless after being discharged on disciplinary grounds from the UK armed forces.
If you are living in married or family quarters provided by the armed forces and have been asked to leave due to a relationship breakdown, you should contact the Housing Options Service as soon as you have received notice to leave. You will usually be provided with 90 days notice to find alternative accommodation. The Council will treat you as ‘threatened with homelessness’ 56 days before that notice is due to expire.
Staffordshire Armed Forces Covenant
The Staffordshire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership is working with the armed forces to help and support current and former service personnel and their families in the local area.
Tel: 01785 276537
A new 24 hour Gateway service will help veterans access the support they need quickly and easily as they transition from military to civilian life.
Tel: 0808 802 1212 Text: 81212
The Royal British Legion
The Royal British Legion can provide support to ex-Service people and their dependents who are suffering financially, including those who need urgent assistance to get through a temporary crisis, such as homelessness.
Tel: 0808 802 8080
SSAFA provide housing advice to people currently servicing in the Forces and ex-services personal and their families.
Tel: 0800 731 4880
Citizens Advice Bureau
A wide variety of advice for ex-service personal including housing advice and financial assistance
Tel: 03444 111 444
Joint Service Housing Advice Office
The Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) provides housing information and advice to service personnel and their families to assist them in their transition to civilian life.
JSHAO also co-ordinate the MOD Referral Scheme to assist eligible service leavers to apply for social housing. You may have attended one of their Civilian Housing Briefings before leaving the military but if not you can find information on civilian housing schemes, service temporary and transit accommodation and homelessness by searching ‘civilian housing advice’ on their website at www.gov.uk or you can call their advice line on 01252 787574.
Veterans' Gateway Housing 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, its main aim is 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.
There is now a Veterans Housing Advice (VHA) web site Housing advice for veterans and ex-forces | Veterans' Gateway (veteransgateway.org.uk) and the direct number to an advisor is 0808 801 0880, that can also be accessed via the Veterans’ Gateway on 0808 802 1212 that is available 24/7.
Services provided include:
- Supported Accommodation - providing temporary accommodation for veterans, with support.
- Long Term Housing - providing settled accommodation for veterans, with or without support.
- General Needs - Unsupported housing for members of the ex-Service community unable to buy or rent on the open market. Tenants will usually be self-sufficient, but may need to avail themselves of some of the floating support listed. Some adapted properties may be available or adaptations arranged as necessary.
- Floating Support - Services delivered by visiting workers to people in their own homes to help people maintain their settled accommodation.
- Outreach Services - Covering work with rough sleepers or people in temporary accommodation to help them access more settled accommodation and any support needs.
- Day Centres - The provision of activities and support to homeless and vulnerably housed people. (Also called by some providers 'drop-in' facilities)
The Housing Options Team at Stafford borough Council are available to give full advice on your housing needs and explain what options are available to you should you find yourself homeless or threatened with homelessness.
Tel: 01785 619000
Office opening hours:
Monday - Thursday 9.00am - 5.00pm and 9.00am - 4.30pm on Friday.
If you are homeless and the council offices are closed, then you can contact the homelessness out of hours service on 01785 619170. You should only use this service if you have nowhere to stay immediately.