New Accommodation Offer

On 19 September, the Minister for Defence People, Veterans and Service Families, Dr Andrew Murrison, announced the introduction of the New Accommodation Offer.

The New Accommodation Offer will come into effect on 11 March 2024. However, we are awaiting clear guidance from the MOD as to which changes will be available immediately from that date or only on a change of duty station or circumstance (e.g. if you have a child, from a long-term relationship). AFF is continuing to ask for updates on this.

The Future Accommodation Model (FAM) pilot and AFF surveys showed that families value SFA and as a result SFA will remain as the main Service accommodation option for families and will always be allocated when available.

Where no SFA at entitlement is available, families will be expected to source their own private rental.

Facebook Live on 12 December from 10am-11am

On behalf of the Families Federations, AFF is hosting a Facebook Live session in conjunction with the MOD to provide families with more information about what you can expect from the new offer. We would love to hear from you regarding any questions or concerns you may have about the new policy so that we can discuss them during our live session.


01   What is the new accommodation policy?

The policy is still being finalised and we are awaiting the final details of how the policy will work. However, the main changes to the current accommodation policy are as follows:

Needs-based allocation

The entitlement to family accommodation will be based on the size of the family, not rank (for both Other Ranks and Officers). This is likely to be based on the number of dependent children.

Transitional protection

There will be a three-year transition period where Service personnel who previously had a rank-based entitlement will be offered ‘transitional protection’ to a similar-sized property. However, this will be the same size of house and not necessarily an old-type Officer’s SFA,  e.g. if you are a Major and were previously entitled to a four-bed Type IV, you could be offered any four-bed SFA available (including from a D type upwards).

Established Long-Term Relationships (LTR(E))

Service personnel who have registered their relationship as an Established Long-Term Relationship (LTR(E)) will now be entitled to accommodation on the same basis as those who are married or in a civil partnership.

Support for parents

If you have children whose main home is elsewhere but they visit you for more than 80 nights a year, they will now be included in your accommodation entitlement so that you have room for them to stay.

Dual Accommodation Expense

If you live in your own home but use SLA during the week, you will now be entitled to a Dual Accommodation Expense and you will be able to claim back the monthly cost of your SLA (this will be a capped amount).

Support to buy a home

Forces Help to Buy is already a permanent part of the accommodation policy and, under the new accommodation offer, you will be offered extra support for becoming first-time buyers through a refund up to £1,500 of your legal expenses.

Private rental accommodation

If no SFA are available and you are placed into this route, you will be given guidance and various payments to cover the costs associated with renting and a contribution towards your monthly rent, adjusted for local housing costs.

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02   Will the new accommodation policy improve SLA housing standards?

A minimum standard for SLA has been agreed and the MOD is already assessing the entire SLA estate to understand where rooms are currently failing to meet this. This will inform where investment is needed and, from 1 April 2024, any rooms falling below that standard will not be used unless the issue can be rectified within 48 hours.

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03   Will this apply to assignments overseas?

The New Accommodation Offer will only roll out in the UK. However, the MOD is reviewing the overseas accommodation offer and policies. This includes considering pilots at selected locations to trial needs-based allocations.

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04   Who will support us with the new policy?

The Accommodation Support Cell is a dedicated team of civil servants specialising in answering all your questions on how the New Accommodation Offer will apply to you, including guidance on how to source private rentals.

For more information contact:

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05   Where can I find more information?

AFF will continue to update our website as soon as we have more information, you can contact the Accommodation Support Cell or you can visit the following:

For a full list of the MOD FAQs please see New Accommodation Offer MOD FAQs

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06   I have heard the new accommodation policy is being implemented in some locations before March 2024, is this correct?

Dr Murrison has also announced that, as the first step in delivering the commitment made in the Defence Accommodation Strategy, the MOD is widening the accommodation entitlement beyond those who are married or in civil partnerships, allowing Service personnel in LTR(E) to apply for SFA at entitlement rather than as surplus. This is known as Widening of Accommodation Entitlement (at Limited Locations) WAE(LL)

Which locations will this be available at?

WAE(LL) will only be at limited locations for those who receive an assignment order to the following duty stations with a start date between 31 October 2023 and 11 March 2024:

  • HMNB Yeovilton
  • HMNB Taunton
  • Leuchars Garrison
  • JHC FS Aldergrove
  • Palace Barracks Holywood
  • Thiepval Barracks Lisburn
  • RAF Cosford
  • RAF Shawbury

Who is eligible for WAE(LL)?

To be eligible for WAE(LL) you must:

  • Receive an assignment order to one of the eight sites with a report for duty date (RFDD) on or after 31 October 2023, and before 11 March 2024; and
  • Be in a relationship defined as an LTR(E). In line with current policy, the Service person will need to register their relationship status on JPA and have it verified by Unit HR. The process to register an LTR(E) can be found in JSP 464 Volume 1 Part 1

For more information please see GOV.UK: Widening accommodation entitlement

If I am in an LTR(E), will I be eligible for the same allowances at a WAE(LL) site as those who are married or in a civil partnership?

If you are in a registered LTR(E) and entitled to SFA at a WAE(LL) site, the serving person will be classed as accompanied and the partner and children will now be classed as immediate family, if they are registered.

This means they will now be eligible for some additional allowances, that can support you when moving home or during deployment.

Moving home

  • Removals – You will now be able to get removals the same as a married couple if you are in a registered LTR(E) at a WAE(LL) site.
  • Disturbance Expense (DE) – DE is based on the type of accommodation you are moving into, so if you are moving into SFA then a serving person can claim the SFA rate.
  • Travel & Subsistence – If you are moving home, you will also be able to claim for your partner and children for subsistence and travel costs. For example, this means you may be now able to claim up £25pp for food per day for your partner and your child on assignment, if eligible, up to a certain limit.
  • Substitute Service Family Accommodation – If there is no SFA available at a WAE (LL) site in the UK and you are offered SSFA, you may also be able to claim travel costs to view the SSFA. In the UK you can also claim accommodation for one nights and subsistence for yourself and your partner and children. However, if you need to return from overseas to view SSFA in the UK, only the serving person can claim for themselves, not the partner or children, up to a limit of four nights.


  • Concessionary Travel for Families (CTF) is an allowance provided to enable the immediate family of Service personnel to visit family during extended periods of deployment. It means if the serving person is eligible, a long-term partner will now also be provided with travel tickets to see their family.

This does not apply to all allowances and only gives additional entitlements to certain allowances for WAE(LL) sites until 10 March 2024 or until the end date of the assignment order at a WAE(LL) site.

The MOD has published a Directed Letter and full details of the allowances available.

If you are unsure about your entitlement to any allowances at a WAE(LL) site, the serving person can check with their Unit HR Admin team.

The MOD wants your views on being newly entitled to SFA

If you are in an established long-term relationship LTR(E) and arrive(d) at one of the limited locations on or after 31 October 2023, the MOD wants to talk to you about your experience of being entitled to SFA regardless of whether or not you decided to move into SFA.

The MOD Accommodation Team is preparing to launch the New Accommodation Offer in March 2024. When this is launched, Service personnel in LTR(E)s at all sites will become entitled to SFA.

Your participation in the research provides a key opportunity to shape the New Accommodation Offer launch for the entire Armed Forces and help other Service personnel in LTR(E)s.

You do not need to have registered your long-term relationship or applied for SFA to take part.

Please email by 5 January 2024 for more information or to sign up to take part.

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07   If I am in an LTR(E), will I be eligible for the same allowances under the new policy as those who are married or in civil partnership?

We know families are awaiting confirmation of the allowances for those in LTR(E) following the New Accommodation Offer announcement. The MOD has not yet confirmed what allowances will be available nor when they will be rolled out. We are pushing for this information and will share it as soon as it is available.

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