Housing

If you’re:

  • homeless
  • at risk of homelessness
  • worried about paying your rent or mortgage
  • needing advice about your existing housing
  • wanting to find out about housing benefit

you can get specific advice for ex-services personnel from:

SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity

Phone: 0800 731 4880  Visit: devon.cc/ssafahousing

The Royal British Legion

Phone: 0808 8028080 to contact your local area office.

Shelter

Phone: 0808 800 4444  Visit: devon.cc/shelter

If you are looking for help with your situation you can contact Forcesline for confidential and independent support on 0800 7314880.

Council housing

You have a greater chance of being rehoused by the council if you have left the armed forces within the last five years. To apply you must contact the district council for the area you want to live in. Each district council has its own waiting list and application process.

Use the Gov.uk council finder to find out which district council you need to contact.
Visit: www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council

District councils in Devon

East Devon: devon.cc/eastdevonhousing

Exeter: devon.cc/devonhomechoice

Mid Devon: devon.cc/middevonhousing

North Devon: devon.cc/northdevonhousing

Plymouth: devon.cc/plymouthhousing

South Hams: devon.cc/southhamshousing

Teignbridge: devon.cc/teignbridgehousing

Torbay: devon.cc/torbayhousing

Torridge: devon.cc/torridgehousing

West Devon: devon.cc/westdevonhousing

The information you include helps the council decide if you can apply for a council home and your priority on the waiting list.

On your application, you need to tell the council:

  • that you have served in the armed forces
  • if your current home is overcrowded
  • if you have medical problems or a disability which means your current home is unsuitable
  • if you are at risk of homelessness
  • if you can’t afford a privately rented home.

If you have medical problems or a disability you may need to get letters from a doctor to support your application.

Be aware that some people will not be successful in their application and waiting list times can be very long.

You can get independent help and information about the process.

Shelter

Detailed information about social housing, types of tenancies, your rights and your options. You can speak to an advisor on the phone, by email and through live webchat. Visit: devon.cc/shelterhousing

CAB

Citizens Advice Bureau has general information about being a social housing tenant on their national website.
Visit: devon.cc/casocialhousing

You can also contact your local CAB to get help with any specific issues you are having. Use the local CAB finder on the website homepage.
Visit: www.citizensadvice.org.uk

 

Social housing

Most social housing is now available through the same route as council housing so you will need to contact your district council. You can apply to some housing associations directly. Some associations will be open to anyone, and some will help specific groups such as people recovering from addiction, prison leavers and vulnerable older people.

Find the full list of housing associations and resettlement projects through the Devon Community Directory.
Visit: devon.cc/dcdsocialhousing

Private renting

Private renting may be directly from the landlord or through a letting agent. Bear in mind that letting agencies will charge fees for processing your paperwork and you will usually need to pay a deposit, often a month’s rent, and the first month’s rent before moving in.

Find a home

When finding a home to rent you can check for local properties online at:

Rightmove: www.rightmove.co.uk

Zoopla: www.zoopla.co.uk

Gumtree: www.gumtree.com

Prime Location: www.primelocation.com

On the Market: www.onthemarket.com

You can also check local newspapers and speak to friends and family. It is often a good idea to speak to local letting agents and let them know what you are looking for so they can let you know when a suitable property becomes available.

Your district council might also be able to offer advice on finding a home

Shelter

Detailed independent information about privately renting your home, including understanding your tenancy agreements, your rights and responsibilities, costs of renting and dealing with problems is available from Shelter.
Visit: england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/private_renting

Shared ownership schemes

Shared ownership schemes are provided through housing associations. You buy a share of your home (25% to 75% of the home’s value) and pay rent on the remaining share. Visit the government website below for more information.
Visit: devon.cc/govsharedownershipscheme

 

Buying a home

Buying a home is a complicated process. There is lots of information to help you, but make sure you are using reliable, independent sources.

Shelter

Information for first time buyers covering the home-buying process, choosing a mortgage and the costs associated with buying a home.
Visit: devon.cc/shelterfirsttimebuyers

Money Saving Expert

Information for all buyers, with a free first time buyers guide, a cheap mortgage finder and a stamp duty calculator.
Visit: www.moneysavingexpert.com/mortgages/

Find a home

When finding a home to buy you can check for local properties online at:

Rightmove: www.rightmove.co.uk

Zoopla: www.zoopla.co.uk

Gumtree: www.gumtree.com

Prime Location: www.primelocation.com

On the Market: www.onthemarket.com

Help to buy scheme

The Government’s new Help to Buy scheme now makes it possible to buy a new or existing home with just a 5% deposit.
Visit: www.helptobuy.gov.uk
Homelessness

If you’re homeless, or at risk of homelessness, get help as quickly as possible.

District councils in Devon
If you are homeless, speak to your district council, if you meet certain criteria your council will have a statutory duty to provide help. Use the Gov.uk council finder to find out which district council you need to contact

Visit: www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council

East Devon: devon.cc/eastdevonhousing

Exeter: devon.cc/devonhomechoice

Mid Devon: devon.cc/middevonhousing

North Devon: devon.cc/northdevonhousing

Plymouth: devon.cc/plymouthhousing

South Hams: devon.cc/southhamshousing

Teignbridge: www.teignbridge.gov.uk/findingahome

Torbay: devon.cc/torbayhousing

Torridge: devon.cc/torridgehousing

West Devon: devon.cc/westdevonhousing

Homeless support

Many more organisations can support people who are homeless or vulnerably housed.

Devon: devon.cc/homelessdevon

Torbay: devon.cc/homelesstorbay

Plymouth: devon.cc/homelessplymouth

SSAFA

You can get support tailored to you as an armed forces service leaver from SSAFA.
Phone:  01392 254 611
Email: devon@ssafa.org.uk
Visit: www.ssafa.org.uk/help-you/veterans/housing-advice

The Royal British Legion

There to support and offer practical assistance to every ex-Serviceman or woman and their dependants, who is homeless or living in temporary accommodation.
Phone: 0808 8028080 to contact your local area office.

Exeter City Council Outreach Team

Officer and volunteers help people sleeping rough in exeter. They can offer practical help including help with getting in to emergency accommodation and help to access health services.
Visit: devon.cc/exetershot
Phone: 01392 284287 or 01392 277888.

Shelter

Phone:  0808 800 4444 to speak to an advisor at Shelter.
Phone:  0344 515 2399 to contact the local Shelter housing office in Plymouth.
Visit: england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/homelessness
Drop in: Open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm at Shelter, Ernest English House, Buckwell Street, Plymouth PL1 2DA

St Petrock’s Exeter

Exeter’s charity for people who are homeless or vulnerably housed. They can provide emergency support and help you get into permanent accommodation.
Phone: 01392 217550
Visit: stpetrocks.org.uk
Drop in: St. Petrock’s (Exeter) Ltd. 10 Cathedral Yard Exeter EX1 1HJ

Plymouth Path

This charity supports people who are homeless or vulnerably housed in Plymouth, Teignbridge and Exeter. They can help if you are rough sleeping, if you need to help to stay in your home and can help you to find accommodation.
Phone Plymouth: 01752 255889
Phone Teignbridge: 01626 215374
Phone Exeter: 01392 491286
Email: info@pathdevon.org
Visit: www.plymouthpath.org
Drop in: Plymouth Path, Harwell Centre, 28-42 Harwell Court, Western Approach, Plymouth PL1 1PY.

 

If you are looking for help with your situation you can contact Forcesline for confidential and independent support on 0800 731 4880. Forcesline is a service provided by SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.