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Armed Forces

Armed forces personnel, former armed forces personnel and their families

 

Wiltshire has a significant military presence and in order to support military personnel the council has signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant.  This is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly.  For more information, please see Wiltshire Council's website.

 

As part of the government's Army Basing Programme, we are welcoming an additional 4,000 service personnel and their families to Wiltshire by the end of the decade.  The MOD is investing around £1bn into the programme.  For more information, please see here.

 

Affordable housing

 

Affordable housing may be social rented, affordable rented (80% market rents), shared ownership or discount market homes.  What will be suitable for you will depend upon your means.

 

The council itself owns social rented homes in the south of the county around Amesbury, Downton, Mere, Salisbury and Tisbury.  Affordable rented housing elsewhere in the county is managed by our housing provider partners including Aster Group (mainly in the eastern and central area of Wiltshire), GreenSquare (northern Wiltshire) and Selwood Housing (western Wiltshire).

 

Homes are allocated through the council’s Housing Register, through our choice based lettings scheme here at Homes4Wiltshire.  Wiltshire Council has a legally-adopted Allocation Policy which determines how applications are assessed and how advertised properties are allocated.  The scheme is a choice based lettings scheme, where customers choose which properties interest them and place ‘bids’ accordingly.  To apply for any affordable rented home you must make a housing application here.

 

It is important to note that in most parts of the Wiltshire Council area, family sized rented homes and one bedroom homes are in high demand.

 

How to apply

 

Information about how to apply for housing is available here.

 

Particular points of interest to armed forces personnel and their families

 

Connection to Wiltshire Council’s area

 

Ordinarily a housing applicant needs a connection to Wiltshire Council’s area through residency, a close family connection, employment or an overriding reason to live in the area because of local services or facilities available here whereby the customer would suffer detriment not to be able to live locally.

 

However, in light of the armed forces covenant, and regulations made by the government, armed forces personnel are treated differently.  To prevent disadvantage to forces personnel, we exclude the following from needing a connection to join the Housing Register –

 

  • A person who is serving in the Armed Forces

  • A person who has left the Armed Forces within the last 5 years

  • A bereaved spouse or civil partners of members of the Armed Forces leaving services family accommodation following the death of their spouse or partner

  • Serving or former members of the Reserve Forces who need to move because of a serious injury, medical condition or disability sustained as a result of their service

 

Parish connections are important to bidding successfully and exemption of current and former armed forces personnel and their bereaved spouses or civil partners in the above categories are granted connections to all parishes, making up for their possible lack of parish connections under our normal rules.

 

Disabled armed forces personnel

 

You may be disabled from your service in the armed forces or reserve forces.  If you will need an adapted or wheelchair accessible home, we will need an Occupational Therapy Housing Report or similar document setting out your particular requirements.  A health or social care professional working with you will ensure that you have this.  If you have day to day care and support needs, we will need information about these from the health or social care professionals working with you.

 

In light of the greater cost of adapted or wheelchair accessible homes in the open market, we will consider in each individual case what funds are required to secure suitable accommodation for you in the Open Market – see Treatment of capital below.

 

Notice to vacate your armed forces accommodation

 

If you are under notice to leave your armed forces accommodation, you will need to contact our Housing Options Service for housing advice and assistance.  Affordable housing is only one option and, given the high demand for affordable housing, alternative solutions may be required if you are at risk of losing your home or need a more immediate solution to your housing difficulties.  The service may be contacted on homeless@wiltshire.gov.uk or by calling/visiting the offices on weekdays (please note times).

 

Monkton Park, Chippenham: 01249 706666 (closed for face to face advice on Wednesdays until 2 pm)

 

Bourne Hill, Salisbury: 01722 434233 (closed for face to face advice on Thursdays until 2 pm)

 

County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge: 01225 718005 (closed for face to face advice on Tuesdays until 2 pm)

 

Separated spouses or partners of armed forces personnel

 

If you came to live in Wiltshire Council’s area with your spouse or partner, and experience a relationship breakdown, we will sensitively consider your connection to Wiltshire Council’s area under special circumstances.  Please call us to discuss if you are in this position.

 

Treatment of capital

 

Generally speaking, a housing applicant of working age (including any joint applicant, spouse or partner) must have less than £16,000 in savings unless a serious physical disability and/or visual impairment means a need for a wheelchair accessible or adapted home which may not be readily available on the open housing market

 

Any compensation for injury paid to current and former armed and reserve forces personnel is disregarded.

 

However, if someone is leaving the armed forces, and is receiving a pension lump sum upon discharge, the lump sum will be taken into account when we assess whether s/he can meet her/his housing need on the open housing market.  We take this approach with all non-armed forces personnel receiving pension lump sums and it is the fairest approach to ensure that all housing applicants feel that they are being treated consistently.

 

If you are physically disabled or visually impaired, and will need a wheelchair accessible or adapted home, we will consider what funds you would need to meet your housing need in the open market.  It can be very difficult to find accessible or adapted homes on the open market and we consider each such case individually.

 

We operate an Open Market Register for those who are deemed not to have a housing need ie those who can meet their housing need on the open market or those who are already adequately housed.

 

Other housing options

 

Whilst you are serving in the armed forces, considering purchasing a home may be a positive step to take if you can afford it.  The same may apply if you are left and are now performing a civilian job and can raise a mortgage.  For information, please see our Low Cost Home Ownership pages.