Cost of living support

Colchester Borough Council is providing support for residents facing the cost of living crisis.

Armed Forces Housing

Housing advice and support for serving personnel and veterans


  • Ways of finding a home
  • Serving personnel
  • Veterans
  • Local support

Ways of finding a home

Serving Personnel:

  • Whether you are living on or off base, renting or thinking about buying a home, there is advice and support available to you.  
  • With the Forces Help to Buy scheme  your family can borrow up to £25,000 interest free over 10 years to help create a deposit for a new home. 
  • Another way to get financial help is through the government’s affordable home ownership schemes  
  • Own your own home provides  a range of schemes that make home-buying more affordable. 
  • The Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) provides serving personnel and their dependants with civilian housing information for those wishing to move to civilian accommodation at any time in their career, and for those during resettlement to assist with the transition to civilian life. 


  • Whether you are renting or thinking about buying a home, there is advice and support available to you.  
  • Own your own home provides  a range of schemes that make home-buying more affordable. 

Council Support to Find a Home  - Council support whether you own your own home, rent it privately, from the Council or Housing Association. 


Useful links

  • Advice and support from the British Legion  - The Royal British Legion provides advocacy and assists them with a range of issues in addition to housing advice, for example finance and health. 
  • Alabare Homes for Veterans  - This charity provides temporary accommodation to British Armed Forces Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. 24 homes across England and Wales, providing 110 bed spaces.  Contact tel: 01722 322 882 
  • Citizens Advice - Housing options for people leaving the Armed Forces, veterans and their families 
  • Forces Compare - Forces Compare, founded and ran by veterans, is an independent search engine that specialises in comparing quotes for insurance to meet the unique requirements of those in the armed forces. Their professional partners can also assist with payday loan refunds, military tax refunds, MOD housing claims, flight delay claims and MOD legal services.
  • Haig Housing - Housing provider for ex-Service personnel in the UK, owns over 1500 properties across 50 locations.  Endeavour to help any veterans in housing need, whether they are transitioning into civilian life or are simply in need of a helping hand.  Tel:  0208 685 5777 
  • Launchpad  - Charity providing affordable supported rental accommodation with onsite support to veterans of all ages and their partners. Accommodation in Newcastle and Liverpool, provides a base from which residents can successful make the transition to civilian life.  Accepts veterans with complex issues which can be resolved over a max of 2 years. Tel:  0300 1111 238 
  • MOD Army  - Provides subsidised accommodation for its servicemen and women. Visit their website for details of service personnel entitlement to service accommodation and removals for personal possessions on assignment to a new area. 
  • Shelter  - Provide expert advice to help you deal with your housing difficulties. 
  • The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) - Offers advice and assistance to anyone eligible for their help, whether they are serving or ex-service, or a family member of someone with a service connection. The SSAFA also provide housing and residential home facilities. 
  • SPACES - Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex Services, SPACES, is a housing advice and placement service for veterans. SPACES targets the most vulnerable of Service leavers, regardless of rank, length of service, or reason for discharge.  
  • Veterans Gateway - gives access to a network of organisations, making it easy for veterans and their families to connect with the help, advice and support they need from their first point of contact. 
  • Veterans UK -  Provides advice regarding the help available to ex-service personnel who are homeless or are threatened with homelessness. 


Additional local support: 

  • Beacon House - Help for homeless people, those in insecure accommodation and those at high risk of homelessness  
  • Colchester Night Shelter  - Help for homeless men and women in Colchester 
  • Emmaus Colchester  - Providing a home and meaningful work for former homeless people 
  • One Housing  - Helping homeless people to move on to secure homes and a more stable future. 
  • Project Nova - Engages with ex-military veterans who have become involved with or are on the periphery of entering the Criminal Justice System.  Co-ordinators work closely with these veterans to carry out a complete Needs Assessment to ensure their housing, health and employment needs are addressed.  


Handy Van Service – Poppy Calls 

Tel:  0800 032 0306    Email: 

The Legion's handy van service, Poppy Calls, helps ex-Service people and their families with small household repairs and minor adaptations. 

If you're having trouble with those small household repairs and minor adaptations around your home and are one of our beneficiaries, The Royal British Legion can provide our handy van service known as Poppy Calls. 

We have a dedicated and trusted team of experienced handypeople who are fully trained to carry out low-level maintenance in your home, including: 

  • Changing light bulbs and tap washers 
  • Putting up shelves, curtain rails and grab rails 
  • Fitting smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors 
  • Fitting and changing door locks and other security features 
  • Building access ramps and storage sheds to house Legion-provided Electrically Propelled Vehicles 
  • Installing care phones

Duty to Refer-   Homeless Reduction act 2017

Public bodies duty to refer service users they believe to be homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days.

From the 1st October 2018 public authorities will have a statutory duty to refer clients they believe to be homeless or threatened with homelessness to the local authority if it is likely they are homeless or will become homeless within the next 56 days.

Your referral does not become or replace a homeless application. The referred person(s) will need to complete a homelessness application if they wish to seek our help. However, following a referral, we will contact you to acknowledge receipt of the referral form within 5 working days. If your client has not made an appointment through our online system we will try contact them to invite them to begin the process. We would ask that you assist your client to make an appointment for our services at a time that is convenient for them, and you, if you are accompanying them.

Please ensure that your client brings with them the appropriate documentation to confirm that they are Homeless or threatened with homelessness and that they are eligible for assistance.

Before making a referral, a public authority must:

•Have consent to the referral from the person(s) being referred

•Allow the individual to identify the housing authority in England which they would like to be referred

•Have consent that the service user's contact details can be given so the housing authority can contact them regarding the referral.


To access the self-help and booking system please use the Housing Options website portal following this link.


The referral form that Public bodies are required to complete can be accessed

Please email the form to


If your client is street homeless outside of Office hours please call 01206 769779.

Please note that Colchester Borough Homes provides the Homeless Services on behalf of Colchester Borough Council.


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