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.
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.
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:
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.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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.Back to top
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: People-Accom-ASC@mod.gov.ukBack to top
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 FAQsBack to top
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).
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:
To be eligible for WAE(LL) you must:
For more information please see GOV.UK: Widening accommodation entitlement
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 January 2024 for more information or to sign up to take part.Back to top
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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