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Craven District Council

Advice for armed forces

Advice for those leaving or who have recently left the armed forces

Anyone leaving the armed forces, or is a former member, may be entitled to help from the council if they are homeless or threatened with homelessness. The government has made a commitment to support ex-forces personnel, veterans and their families to provide the support they need and ensure they are treated with the dignity they deserve. 

Notice to vacate

When you receive your Notice to vacate/93 day notice, contact our housing options team as soon as possible to arrange an interview. The team can be contacted via email at housing@cravendc.gov.uk or by telephoning 01756 706475.

You will be classed as threatened with homelessness and the council 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 and 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. 

What are my Housing Options?

Social housing.

If possible, prior to dicharge, complete a housing application for social housing via North Yorkshire Home Choice (www.northyorkshirehomechoice.org.uk) Paper applications are also available if online completion is not an option.

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 6 months.

In the Home Choice policy, armed forces members are defined as someone who is:

  • serving in the regular 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 their service, or who were serving in the regular 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 are 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:
     (i) the bereaved spouse or civil partner has recently ceased, or will cease to be entitled, to reside in Ministry of Defence accommodation following the death of their service spouse or civil partner 
    (ii) the death was wholly or partly 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 shortage of social housing and there is no guarantee that you would receive an offer before being discharged.

Supported housing providers

Supported housing can offer you specialist support to address specific issues or to help you with living independently and adjusting back into the community.

There are no schemes specifically for Armed Forces in  Craven however we do have a scheme - Pinder House - provided by Horton Housing which offers intensive support to those with complex needs. if we think this is an option a referral will be made.    

Hostels

There are no direct access hostels or night shelters in Craven that you can access in an emergency. Homeless Link have details of hostels and accommodation schemes across the country.

Private Renting

The main advantage of private rented accommodation is that you will have a greater degree of choice in terms of location and type of property, and there is generally good availability so it is more likely that you would find a property before or shortly after you are discharged.   

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

We may be able to assist you with a Bond or Rent in Advance to access private rented accommodation

Help with Housing Costs

If you are receiving a state benefit or on a low income once discharged, you can apply for help towards your rent. In Craven this will be through Universal Credit for working age people unless you live in supported housing.

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 (LHA). If you are under 35, you will only be able to get rent to cover you for a room in a shared house. Please see LHA rate on Craven Council’s website https://www.cravendc.gov.uk/benefits-andadvice/local-housing-allowance/

Help available from other agencies:

SSAFA – The armed forces charity- Supporting military families

SSAFA work 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, affective and timely support.

For more information regarding how they can help, please visit their website www.ssafa.org.uk/

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 had suffered as a result of service in the Armed Forces during the war, whether through their own service or through that of a family member.

For more information regarding how they can help, please visit their website www.britishlegion.org.uk/

Help for Heroes

Whether you’re a veteran of the armed forces or currently serving, a family member or loved one, 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. They can also help if you are struggling with your mental health, they have a psychological wellbeing team who are there to listen and help.

For more information regarding how they can help, please visit their website www.helpforheroes.org.uk/get-support

Community First Yorkshire

This service offers a range of help and support for veterans aged over 65. They tackle issues such as poor health and wellbeing, loneliness, isolation, and confidence. The services available are a mixture of practical, financial, and holistic support – from healthy home checks and gardening support, to carers support, income maximisation, activities and befriending. Veterans will have the opportunity to try new things, revisit old interests, or benefit from new or improved connections in their community. You can make a referral for yourself, for a relative or friend, or for someone you are supporting. Please email exforces@communityfirstyorkshire.org.uk or call 01904 704 177.

Craven Adult Learning and Skills Service

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 offer a range of courses for you to improve your skills for work, progress your career, improve your core skills; 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. Learning takes place in a relaxed environment. 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 Advisers. Please call 01609 780780

Horton Housing

Horton Housing provides 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 further information visit their website www.hortonhousing.co.uk

Veterans Gateway

This website offers all types of advice including housing

www.support.veteransgateway.org.uk. Telephone helpline 0808 8021212

The Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex Services (SPACES)

SPACES is a housing advice and placement service for veterans. SPACES target the most vulnerable of service leavers, regardless of rank, length of service, or reason for discharge.

www.spaces.org.uk Helpline 01748 833797/ 872940/ 830191 

Help 4 Homeless Veterans

Their mission is to source and provide accommodation to Ex Service Personnel who are living rough or in unsatisfactory accommodation

www.help4homelessveterans.org.uk Helpline 07586 777856 .

Alabare: Homes for Veterans

Provides temporary accommodation to veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

www.alabare.co.uk/homes-services Helpline 07122 322882

Veterans Aid

Helping ex-servicemen and women in crisis. Enables sustainable, independent living with support.

www.veterans-aid.net Helpline 0800 0126867/020 78282468