What is the Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) and what do they do?

What is the Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) and what do they do?

By Claudia Foxcroft

The JSHAO provides specific housing information to encourage Service personnel and their families to consider their civilian housing options at any point during their career.

Although a lot of the work undertaken is directed at those approaching the end of their Service, it is acknowledged that an earlier intervention may reduce the numbers of personnel still occupying Service accommodation as they approach their discharge date. While the JSHAO will always offer advice to those personnel leaving the Services we also recognise the need to deliver civilian housing advice much earlier and throughout an individual’s Service career.

This through-career information will mean that, regardless of the point at which they decide to make the transition from Service to civilian accommodation, individuals will have the background knowledge that will enable them to make informed decisions and choices as well as having the JSHAO on hand to offer further information if needed.

  • JSHAO Enquiries will respond to any housing related questions asked either by email: RC-Pers-JSHAO-0mailbox@mod.gov.uk or by Civ: 01252 787574 (Mil: 94222 7574). Where questions are not within JSHAO’s remit, they will always signpost and redirect the enquirer.
  • JSHAO Housing Briefs are delivered at over 50 Civilian Housing Briefings at various Military locations in the UK and Cyprus each year. A detailed list of events can be found online by searching ‘civilian housing briefs’ at: www.gov.uk These briefs are designed to give you the information to help you make informed choices on your civilian housing. Briefings cover the following areas:
  • House Purchase (including Forces Help to Buy)
  • Independent Financial
  • Advice (provided by SIIAP members)
  • Affordable Home Ownership Schemes
  • Private Rental
  • Social Housing
  • JSHAO DLE eLearning compliments the JSHAO housing briefs by enabling worldwide access by both Service and civilian personnel to the generic housing information delivered. All that is needed is a Defence Gateway account and access via an up-to-date browser, at work or home. Search for course code: JSHAO_01.
  • The MOD Referral Scheme is managed by the JSHAO. It is designed to help those discharging from the Armed Forces who could not afford to get on the property ladder and were envisaging having to rent via their local authority. Through this scheme, some housing associations support those who would otherwise have problems being prioritised highly enough to have a realistic chance of being housed by local authorities. Applicants must be Armed Forces personnel or a spouse/civil partner, within six months of their discharge date and occupying Service accommodation, the Services Cotswold Centre or temporary accommodation. Applications for the scheme can be accepted from married or single personnel. Separated spouses who are living in Service Families Accommodation (SFA) may also apply. Single personnel are eligible until six months post-discharge. Personnel in SFA are eligible until they leave the Service accommodation. Please note however, that there is no guarantee of being housed through this scheme as it relies solely on accommodation being offered.
  • Housing Matters Magazine is published quarterly by JSHAO. The magazine has information and articles designed to help when you are considering your civilian housing options. Copies should be easily available from within your Unit or at any HIVE, Welfare or Resettlement Office. The magazine is also held as e-copies on: www.gov.uk

Did you consider..?

  • When you joined the Armed Forces your Service accommodation is just another piece of kit that you signed for and that you have to give back when you leave?
  • Saving money for your future?
  • Where you would eventually like to settle and establish a home?
  • Buying early to spread the cost?

It is therefore important that you consider financial planning (savings) and what housing options are available as early as possible. Plan for the future!