Are you in a long-term relationship (LTR) and looking to move into a quarter? Currently, unless you’re living on a Future Accommodation Model (FAM) pilot site, unmarried couples are only eligible for surplus housing; they’re not entitled to Service Family Accommodation (SFA) in the same way that married couples are.

Surplus housing has been in short supply, but that’s about to change after Ministers instructed Defence Infrastructure Organisation to reduce the amount of empty properties in the UK over the next few years.

So if you’ve been turned down for surplus, or if you’ve previously been put off because of the risk of having to move at short notice, now might be a good time to reconsider.

Amey is being encouraged to allocate SFA, where availability allows, to all those who are eligible and who currently have an application in for surplus, with the exception of a few areas where housing is in short supply – Northwood, Brize Norton, Thorney Island, Birmingham and Hereford.

If you’re offered surplus, it’s unlikely that you will have to move out for an entitled family. Should an entitled family be posted in and there isn’t SFA available, they will be offered SSFA, with the exception of the FAM pilot sites where families will be expected to source their own private rental.

What do you need to do?

  • If you have an application in the system and you no longer need it, please go back in to the e1132 and cancel.
  • If you have an outstanding application in the system you should have heard from Amey Occupancy Services about an allocation – the intention is to convert all surplus applications into allocations (where possible) by the end of the year.
  • If you’re still keen to take up the option of surplus, but have previously been refused, make a new application – all new applications should now be responded to within 15 working days.
  • Allocations for LTR(E) surplus can be made within a 50-mile radius, so if nothing is available at your duty station you may need to compromise on distance to get a quarter.
  • Remember that moves on a surplus licence do not attract removal costs – please ensure that you discuss allowances with your unit admin beforehand so that you don’t have any surprise costs further down the line.

In the three (FAM) pilot sites at Aldershot, HMNB Clyde and RAF Wittering, those in LTR are entitled to SFA and this may be taken forward when FAM is rolled out. AFF welcomes this as it will reduce the insecurity many of you have reported to us.

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