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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.

Access to social housing is through your local authority:

All of the above authorities have signed the Armed Forces Covenant and have altered their housing allocation policies to support the Armed Forces.

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.

Further information:

  • Shelter council 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



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