West Berkshire Council

Armed Forces

Housing advice for those who have left, or are in the Armed Forces

Members of Her Majesty's regular naval, military and air forces are generally provided with accommodation by the Ministry of Defence (MOD), but are required to leave this accommodation when they are discharged from the service.

Prior to leaving the service, the armed forces provide housing information and advice to service personnel. This is provided through the Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO). Some people who have served in the armed forces for a long period or are medically discharged may be offered assistance by the MOD's resettlement staff.

You can contact JSHAO in the following ways:

Joint Service Housing Advice Office
Floor 1 Zone 1
Montgomery House
Queen's Avenue
Aldershot
Hampshire
GU11 2JN

Advice line: 012 5278 7574
Email: aws-jshoa-mailbox@mod.uk 
Website: www.gov.uk

If a member of the armed forces is going to be discharged from the service, the MOD will issue a "Certificate of Cessation of Entitlement to Occupy Service Accommodation". A local authority housing department will consider this certificate as proof that the individual is threatened with homelessness. 

The council may be able to provide advice if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness and you are unable to make provisions for yourself. You can approach the council to receive further advice, assistance and information about your housing situation.
 

What can the service do to support you?

Duty to prevent homelessness: The council is committed to supporting applications who are at risk of losing accommodation within 56 days. This means that we will try to prevent your homelessness by helping you to remain in your current accommodation, if that is possible. Otherwise we will explore with you alternative housing options such as securing accommodation in the private rented sector or supported accommodation.

Duty to take steps to relieve homelessness: We will assist households who are homeless to secure suitable accommodation, regardless of whether they are 'intentionally homeless' or have a priority need. This means that all eligible households will be offered help to secure accommodation.
 

Will the council provide me with accommodation?

We can provide advice and assistance to enable you to find alternative accommodation. However, we will not have a duty to provide emergency accommodation or temporarily house you unless you are considered to be eligible, homeless and have priority need. Your Homelessness Prevention & Relief Officer will discuss this with you as part of your application process and make necessary enquiries to determine our duties.

For more information on the homelessness criteria please visit Shelter Homepage or contact Shelter on 080 8800 4444.

If it is identified that you have support needs, the team can discuss referrals to appropriate support agencies.

You can approach the service to receive further advice and information about your housing situation by contacting the Housing Operations Team on 01635 519 530 and choose option 2. Alternatively, you contact us by e-mail on housing@westberks.gov.uk 
 

Where else can I get housing support?

Spaces

Spaces helps single ex service personnel find housing throughout the United Kingdom which can be temporary or permanent. If you contact them within six months of leaving the Armed Forces they may be able to help you find accommodation. If you have been out of the Armed Forces for more than six months they can provide you with information and advice on housing.

There are three numbers you can call to contact them:

017 4883 3797

017 4887 2940

017 4883 0191

Email: spaces@ecgo.org.uk  
Website: Spaces
 

Royal British Legion Industries

Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) provides advice and support with housing and care for people leaving the Armed Forces, veterans and their families. They offer a number of family housing schemes, assisted living schemes, and supported housing. For more information please visit RBLI

Their contact details are:

Telephone: 016 2279 5900
Email: enquiries@rbli.co.uk 
 

Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association Forces Help

If you are serving in the Armed Forces, a veteran or the dependant of those serving and veterans, you can get free housing advice from The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help.

They provide advice and assistance to those eligible for help. They provide some housing facilities and also provide help to people who are homeless.

You can find out more information by contacting the housing advisor at:

Telephone: 020 7463 9398
Email: housing@ssafa.org.uk 
Website: SSAFA
 

Veterans Aid

If you are homeless, or are likely to become homeless, you can get help from Veterans Aid. They can provide direct and immediate help to vulnerable veterans with finding hostel accommodation.

You can find out more information by contacting them at:

Veterans Aid
40 Buckingham Palace Road
Victoria
London
SW1W 0RE

Telephone: 080 0012 68 67
Email: info@veterans-aid.net 
Website: Veterans Aid
 

Haig Housing 

Haig Housing is a military-only housing association.

Website: Haig Housing

STOLL provide over 250 Stoll affordable homes for vulnerable Veterans to rent. They currently operate four schemes in West London.

Website: Stoll

Telephone: 020 7385 2110

 

Support for disabled veterans

Sir Oswald Stoll Foundation

The Sir Oswald Stoll Foundation provides housing and support to vulnerable and disabled veterans and their dependants in England. If you are offered a place in one of their homes, they provide a home for life if you need it, or help to find training and work to get back to independent living.

Sir Oswald Stoll Foundation
446 Fulham Road
London
SW6 1DT

Telephone: 020 7385 2110
Website: Stoll

 

Employment support

Hire a Hero

Hire a Hero is a registered UK charity that offers opportunities for training, mentoring and career coaching, as well as providing a job board where vacancies can be browsed and posted. 

Website: Hire a Hero

Telephone: 014 9536 6670

Email: info@hireahero.org.uk
 

Civvystreet

Civvystreet is a branch of the British legion, designed to help find openings for veterans. It is also for their widows, widowers, partners and dependants.

Website: Civvy Street

Telephone: 080 0009 8015

Email: info@civvystreet.org.uk 
 

Troops to Teachers

Troops to Teachers is a government initiative, designed to encourage military personnel to re-train as educators. The Troops to Teachers non-graduate programme for eligible Service leavers to become primary or secondary school teachers, gaining a University of Brighton degree and earning a salary whilst training. The programme matches you with a school in your home location for two years of training, supporting you through intensive study weeks and weekly web based university studies.  You can find out more information at:UCAS Troops Teacher
 

VETS

VETS is open to anyone who has served in the UK Armed Forces, or with any other nation's Armed Forces. VETS matches you with a Mentor to help you identify your key skills and find the role best suited for you. It also offers free CV and Interview workshops, work experience and access to a diverse jobs list from our corporate partners who recognise the skills of those who have served in the Forces. VETS will also continue to support you as you make the transition into work and once you have found employment. VETS is a completely free service for ex-service personnel.

Website: Veteran Employment

 

Other support

The Veterans Charity

The Veterans Charity is a charity, who specialise in assisting the men and women of our forces who are experiencing monetary hardship. They provide items including food shopping, clothing, household items and smartphones to aid vital communication.

Email: info@veteranscharity.org.uk

Telephone: 012 7185 9211
 

StepChange

Step Change are a notable charity that offer invaluable advice to anybody struggling with debt repayments, working closely with armed forces charity SSAFA to offer advice to armed forces veterans.

Website: Step Change

Telephone: 0800 138 1111 (Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-4pm).

The gov.uk website gives information on the benefits that armed personnel and veterans can get: http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/jobcentre-plus-services-for-the-armed-forces-and-their-families