Housing advice for armed forces personnel

If you are going to be homeless when you leave the armed forces or are a former member, we can provide advice and assistance.

You may be entitled to help if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness. The Government has made a commitment to provide support to ex-forces personnel, veterans and their families and to ensure they are treated with the dignity they deserve. 

You are considered to be a veteran if you have served for at least one day in His Majesty’s armed forces. This includes regular, reserve or merchant mariners who have seen duty on legally defined military operations.

Notice to vacate 

When you receive your 93 day notice to vacate, contact us as soon as possible to arrange an interview. 

You will be classed as threatened with homelessness and we will start working with you to prevent your homelessness, giving the armed forces and ex-forces personnel an extra 37 days outside of the statutory duty period of 56 days.

We will try to help you find accommodation that you can move into on discharge, but this may not always be possible. If you are actually homeless on discharge, then we need to assess if we owe you a duty to provide temporary accommodation, but you will not necessarily be a priority just because you have been in the forces. 

How you access this support is different depending on where you live in North Yorkshire.

Support in the Craven area

Contact us. We can discuss your housing options with you. 

Support in the Richmondshire area

Contact us. We can discuss your housing options with you. 

Support in the Scarborough area

Contact us. We can discuss your housing options with you.

Support in the Selby area

Contact us. We can discuss your housing options with you. 

Housing options

There are various housing options open to you. 

Social housing

If possible, before discharge, complete a housing application for social housing on the North Yorkshire Home Choice website. Paper applications are also available.

Applicants who have received their 93 day notice to vacate will be classed as threatened with homelessness and have their banding increased in accordance with their priority status.

North Yorkshire Home Choice gives additional preference to members of the armed forces who have urgent housing need. We do this by backdating priority band date by six months.

In the Home choice policy, an armed forces member is defined as someone who is: 

  • serving in the regular armed forces or who has served in the regular armed forces - including those existing members of the regular armed forces who are suffering from a serious injury, illness or disability as a result of their service who may need to move out of their existing accommodation to suitably adapted social housing before they complete the service or who were serving in the regular armed forces at any time in the five years preceding their application for an allocation of social housing
  • serving or has served in the reserve forces who is suffering from a serious injury, illness or disability which is wholly or partially attributable to their service
  • bereaved spouses or civil partners of those serving in the regular forces where:
    • the bereaved spouse or civil partner has recently ceased, or will cease, to be entitled to reside in the Ministry of Defence accommodation following the death of their service spouse or civil partner
    • the death was wholly or partially attributable to their service 

The definitions include applications from former service personnel made within five years following discharge. 

North Yorkshire Home Choice also automatically considers members of the armed forces to have a local connection to the area.

There is a shortage of social housing and there is no guarantee that you would receive an offer before being discharged.

Private renting

The main advantage of private rented accommodation is that you will have more choice in terms of location and type of property. We may also be able to give you advice about what is available in your local area and how you can get help with paying the rent bonds and rent in advance. 

You may also wish to start looking at suitable private renting options on websites such as Right Move or Spare Room.

Help with housing costs

If you are looking to rent a private rented property, the maximum amount of help you can get is set by the local housing allowance. You can find out more on the local housing allowance page on the Government website.

If you are under 35, you will only be able to get rent to cover you for a room in a shared house. Further details can be found on our benefits pages

Help available from other agencies

The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA)

The charity works to ensure that the needs of the armed forces, veterans and their families are met in an appropriate and timely way. Their mission is to relieve need, suffering and distress amongst the armed forces, veterans and their families in order to support their independence and dignity. They work to alleviate suffering and distress by providing appropriate, effective and timely support. 

For more information, visit the SSAFA website.

The Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion provides lifelong support for the armed forces community - serving men and women, veterans, and their families. They help today's service men and women, veterans, and their families in almost every aspect of daily life. One main purpose of the British Legion is to care for those who have suffered as a result of service during war, whether through their own service or through that of a family member. 

For more information, visit the Royal British Legion website.

Help for Heroes

Whether you are a veteran of the armed forces or currently serving, a family member or loved on, you can contact Help for Heroes. If you are living with anxiety and stress, are struggling financially, or just need a listening ear, they can help. 

From financial grants to housing advice, they offer support with your finances and welfare to help you achieve your goals. If you are struggling with your mental health, they have a psychological wellbeing team who are there to listen and help. 

For more information, visit the Help for Heroes website.

Community First Yorkshire

This service offers a range of help and support for past members of the armed forces over 65, raising awareness of the issues faced by older ex-members of the armed forces and enabling them to lead fuller lives. Funded by the Aged Veterans Fund at the Ministry of Defence, they are committed to contributing to the existing support available for older veterans and offering something new. 

The partnership is experienced in working with older people and tackling issues such as poor health and wellbeing, loneliness, isolation, and confidence. They provide housing-related support for people with multiple or complex needs who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Support available is around tenancies, budgeting, claiming benefits, helping to secure appliances for a home and much more. 

For more information, visit the Community First Yorkshire website.

Veterans Gateway

Veterans Gateway offer a range of advice for veterans including advice about housing. You can call their helpline on 0808 8021212 or visit the Veterans Gateway website.

The single persons accommodation centre for the ex-services

The single persons accommodation centre for the ex-services is a housing advice and placement service for veterans. It targets the most vulnerable of service leavers regardless of rank, length of service or reason for discharge. 

You can phone:

You can find out more on the veterans services pages on the Riverside Group website.

Help 4 Homeless Veterans

Their mission is to source and provide accommodation to ex-service personnel who are living rough or in unsatisfactory accommodation Visit the Help 4 Homeless Veterans website or call them on 07586 777856.

Alabare: Homes for Veterans

This organisation provides temporary accommodation to British Armed Forces Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

For more information, visit the Alabare website or phone the helpline on 07122 322882.

Veterans Aid

Veterans Aid helps ex-servicemen and women in crisis. It enables sustainable, independent living with support. 

For more information, visit the Veterans Aid website or call the helpline on 0207 828 2468.

Adult learning and skills service (Craven area only)

If you have served in the armed forces for some time and are worried about getting back into employment, you may be interested in this service. The adult learning and skills service in the Craven area offers a range of courses for you to improve your skills for work, progress your career, improve your core skills and improve your health and wellbeing. Courses are part time and are available as daytime or evening classes so you can update your skills around your lifestyle. 

To help make learning affordable for everyone, concessionary fees are available and some of the courses, which support employment skills, are free if you are unemployed, receiving state benefits and actively seeking work. If you would like to discuss your learning options, ask about specialist support or enquire about financial help to support your learning, book a free appointment with a learning and skills adviser. For more information, contact us.


Launchpad provides affordable supported rented accommodation with on site support to armed forces veterans of all ages and their partners. 

Visit the Launchpad website or call their helpline on 0300 111 1238.

The Beacon Catterick

The Beacon Catterick offers supported housing to single veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and who have support needs. Based at Catterick Garrison, the team understands the unique needs of veterans transitioning in to civilian life.

Call the helpline on 0345 111 0000.

You can find out more on the Beacon Catterick page of the Riverside Group website.

Stoll Foundation

Stoll Foundation provide over 250 affordable homes for vulnerable veterans to rent. They also arrange accommodation for veterans through housing associations and local authorities across the country. 

Call the helpline on 020 7385 2110.

For more information, visit the Stoll Foundation website.

First Light Trust for Veterans

First Light Trust for Veterans supports those suffering from severe stress who feel they have nowhere else to turn. This is a charity for veterans of the Emergency Services and Armed Forces.

Through their growing local network of cafes and centres, they support veterans and their families where it matters - in their community and in their homes.

Call the helpline on 01723 361210.

For more information, visit the First Light Trust website.