Social housing (also known as council housing)
Social housing is let at low rents on a secure basis to those who are most in need or struggling with their housing costs. Normally councils and not-for-profit organisations, such as housing associations, are the ones to provide social housing.
We provide access to housing association properties through the housing register. More information is available on our housing pages.
Rutland County Council has signed the Armed Forces Covenant and their housing allocation policies support the Armed Forces.
The covenant doesn't give service leavers or veterans priority on waiting lists. However, it does remove the local connection criteria for 5 years after leaving service. This means you can apply to any housing authority and be on the list in more than one area.
Despite this, families can still find themselves without anywhere to live as there is simply not enough social housing in the county.
To be eligible you will need to be:
- currently serving in the Regular Forces, or have served in the Regular Forces at any time in the five years preceding an application for social housing
- a bereaved spouse, or civil partner of someone serving in the Regular Forces where the bereaved spouse or civil partner has recently had to leave, or will soon have to leave, Ministry of Defence accommodation following the death of their service spouse or civil partner in service
- a current, or former member of the Reserve Forces who is suffering from a serious injury, illness, or disability which is wholly or partly attributable to their service.
In an application, you need to tell the council:
that you have served in the Armed Forces
if your current home is overcrowded
If you have medical problems* or a disability which means your current home is unsuitable
if you are at risk of homelessness
if you can’t afford a privately rented home.
*If you have medical problems or a disability you may need to get letters from a doctor to support your application.
- Shelter housing
- Citizens Advice housing options for people leaving the Armed Forces, veterans and their families
- SSAFA the Armed Forces charity has expert housing advisors who can offer impartial advice and guidance for those who have left the Armed Forces
Renting a House
Further information on private renting can be found here
Coping with homelessness
Special consideration for those who are vulnerable
The Regulations ensure that, where Local Housing Authorities decide to use a local connection requirement as a qualification criterion, they must not apply it to the following persons so as to disqualify them from an allocation of Social Housing:
- those who are currently serving in the Regular Forces or who were serving in the Regular Forces at anytime in the five years preceding their application for an allocation of Social Housing
- bereaved spouses or civil partners of those serving in the Regular Forces where the bereaved spouse or civil partner has recently had to leave, or will soon have to leave, Ministry of Defence accommodation following the death of their Service spouse or civil partner in Service
- current or former members of the Reserve Forces who are suffering from a serious injury, illness, or disability which is wholly or partly attributable to their Service
The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 requires local Housing Authorities to intervene to prevent and relieve homelessness, with former members of the Regular Armed Forces named as a specific group to be supported.
Housing Authorities are required to assist individuals if they are likely to become homeless within 56 days. This applies to all Service personnel leaving Single Living Accommodation or Service Family Accommodation 56 days before their discharge date.
Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 allows Local Authorities to provide help, in the form of temporary accommodation, to applicants who are homeless, eligible, in priority need, not intentionally homeless and who have a local connection with the area in question.
Under the Homelessness (Priority Need for Accommodation) (England), Service personnel applying for assistance in England are in priority need if they are ‘vulnerable’ as a result of having been in the Services.
The Homelessness Code of Guidance states that the following will be considered by a Local Authority when deciding if an applicant from the Services is vulnerable:
- how long the individual has been in the Armed Forces
- type of Service
- any time spent in a military hospital
- whether the Armed Forces medical and/or welfare advisers consider the person is vulnerable
- how long it has been since the person left the Armed Forces
- what support networks are available
It is really important when asking for special consideration as part of your homelessness application that you:
- make it clear to the Housing Officer that you are asking for special consideration under the Armed Forces Covenant
- explain how your experiences in service have resulted in you becoming vulnerable
- explain your specific medical needs, whether physical or mental health, as this may help them to find you suitable accommodation
- provide any original documentation you may have from Defence Medical Services, the MOD or NHS to support your application. This will include your service number and branch of service
- provide details of any support agencies such as SSAFA, the Royal British Legion or Veterans Contact Point who may be supporting you.
You can have someone to support you during a homelessness application. This can be an advocate from a support agency, or a member of your family, or a friend and if you need a break from the assessment say so.
Please note – special consideration can only be asked for, and is assessed on a case by case basis. It is not a right or automatic entitlement.