Date: Thursday May 16, 2019 at 10:42am
Achieving housing harmony after your transition
The Army Families Federation (AFF) believes that
families who are equipped with accurate information and realistic expectations
about life after the military have the most successful transitions back to
civvy street. Our research in collaboration with the other Families Federations
showed there were clear benefits to purchasing a home in advance of leaving.
But this isn’t an option for every family.
Here, we explore some of the things you should
consider when laying down your civilian roots…
To rent, or to buy?
You may be eager to purchase your own property after
your Forces journey ends but renting for a time may be a good idea for your
family. For example, are you sure you’ve chosen the right area to live in and
does it have the things important to your family nearby; such as schools,
employment and social activities? Being sure about these things is a good idea
before tying yourself into a big financial commitment.
Is your family considering social housing after you
say goodbye to those dodgy military curtains and magnolia walls? For those of
you leaving with your soldier’s end of Service lump sum - or even if you’ve
been medically discharged and received a payment – if you have savings of more
than £16,000, you won’t be eligible to apply to most councils.
In many areas, social housing is in scarce supply
and waiting lists can be long – while the Armed Forces Covenant means you won’t
require a ‘local connection’ to your chosen area, it won’t put you to the top
of the list. You may need to be flexible on location as well as the type of
property you are happy for your family to live in, in order to have the best
chance of securing your next home.
Be a savvy saver
Whatever your plans for after the military, saving
early will help. Whether you’ll need the money for a deposit, furniture or some
other unexpected cost you haven’t discovered yet – whether you choose to rent
or buy, start growing your savings sooner rather than later. There are even
savings accounts that particularly benefit homebuyers. Go to www.aff.org.uk
and search ‘money matters’.
Know your stuff
Did you know that the Joint Service Housing Advice
Office (JSHAO) runs free housing briefings to help military families with
housing options post Service? These sessions aren’t just for the soldier and
there is even an online version now too. You can access these briefings at any
point, there’s no need to wait until your soldier is in their resettlement
period. To find out more, visit GOV.UK and search ‘JSHAO’.
secured your next home, you’re happy with the location… now make sure the
suppliers you’re with, such as for your utilities, know where you’ve moved to.
It’s a good idea to have your mail redirected for a time too until you can get
all your address admin in order!
Find out more
If your family is en-route to civvy street, check
out the AFF website for a wealth of housing help including more information on all
the topics raised in this article. Visit www.aff.org.uk
and click ‘Family Life’.