Here at AFF we encourage you to plan your move to civilian housing in plenty of time before leaving the army. We know, however, that things don’t always go smoothly. AFF housing specialist, Cat Calder, looks at a scheme which could help if the unexpected happens…

If you’re suddenly faced with leaving your Service Family Accommodation (SFA) before you’d planned, do consider a range of different options, as social housing is hard to come by in many areas.

The MOD Referral Scheme, run by the Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO), could help you. Some housing associations ask JSHAO to nominate personnel as tenants for vacant properties – this can help if you have difficulty proving a local connection, for example, and can sometimes help those needing adapted properties as well.

JSHAO doesn’t hold any stock itself so is reliant on the goodwill of housing associations, which means that there’s no knowing where or when properties may become available.

However, if you’re prepared to be flexible, it’s an option to consider.

As a family or spouse, you’ll need to:

  • be within six months of your soldier’s discharge date
  • currently be in SFA or staying in the Services Cotswold Centre or a hostel
  • have little or no savings or expected gratuities
  • not already own or rent a property.

Applicants are prioritised for need and you’ll be informed in writing if you’ve been accepted and added to the database for when housing becomes available.

You’ll only be given one offer, so make sure that you’re clear about your needs when you apply.

Find out more
Search MOD Referral Scheme and access the application form at, then send to JSHAO at

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