AFF - Achieving housing harmony after your transition

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.


Social shortage

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 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’.


After the move…

So, you’ve 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 and click ‘Family Life’.


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