THE final details of the New Employment Model (NEM), a study looking into how the Armed Forces will be shaped in the future, are a fair way off yet.

One thing we do know, however, is that one of its aims is to reduce dependency on Service Families Accommodation (SFA) by giving soldiers more career stability – longer postings in fewer areas.

Financial support

The good news is that SFA is here to stay. But the MOD will hope to encourage families to buy their own homes and is looking at ways to help those of you who want to do so.

The plan is to offer a higher salary advance to your soldier which will help with a deposit. There may be an option to draw down from Early Departure Payments for home ownership.

Advice for families

A housing advice service to help you plan and understand your options will be a key part of the MOD offer; 20 per cent of you currently say you haven’t heard of Government schemes like Help to Buy, which reduces the cost of buying a house by 20 per cent and offers special terms such as the ability to let the property if you are posted.

The flipside of this is that if you use Home Purchase Incentive, you will lose your entitlement to SFA while you are posted to that area (as is the case now when you take Long Service Advance of Pay for a deposit on a property).

This is in order to support family stability rather than encouraging a buy-to-let culture. Obviously, if you are posted further afield you will be entitled to SFA in the new area.

For more information on the NEM, see our article Look to the future or if you have any questions on Service housing in the future, contact AFF Housing Specialist Cat Calder on housing@aff.org.uk

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