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New Accommodation Offer – A 2024 Guide To The MOD Scheme

The New Accommodation Offer from the MOD was announced in Sept 2023. But what is it, and who is eligible? Find answers to this, and other FAQs, here.

Couple supported by the new accommodation offer stand outside a house

What is the new accommodation offer launching in April 2024?

The new accommodation offer set to launch in April 2024, is the MOD’s newest entitlement offer for armed forces service personnel. Announced in September 2023, the Ministry Of Defence’s upcoming scheme will super-seed the Future accommodation offer, trialled earlier this year at MNB Clyde, Aldershot Garrison, and RAF Wittering.

While the details are yet to be confirmed, the policy is likely to affect a lot of service personnel. So what is the new policy, and who is eligible for it?

What is the new accommodation policy?

The New Accommodation Policy (NAP) from the MOD is designed to modernise and improve accommodation entitlements for service personnel. This includes the suitability of the accommodation itself, as well as extending the volume of service personnel who are eligible for accommodation support. The new policy has been designed to give more types of families a bigger say in how they live.

This new policy is switching up to a needs-based allocation system. Unlike before, when rank was used to allocate accommodation, it will now be allocated based on the needs of families. This will include the size of the family, as well as other considerations. For example, it’ll include service personnel who have children staying with them over 80 nights a year but have a main home elsewhere. It’ll also include personnel who are in registered long-term relationships (LTR(E)). They’ll now be treated in line with those who are in civil partnerships and who are married. 
The transition to this new accommodation system will be gradually phased in over a three-year period, starting from March 2024.

Here’s a breakdown of what the new accommodation policy will cover:

– Increased flexibility for families in choosing their accommodation.

– Options in the private rental sector if suitable Service Family Accommodation (SFA) is not available, as well as guidance and financial support to contribute towards rent.

– Improved financial support for weekly commuters who use Single Living Accommodation (SLA) during the week, but have a main home elsewhere. They’ll be able to claim back their SLA costs, which will be capped at a certain amount. This is known as the Dual Accommodation Expense.

– Improved financial support for first-time home buyers under the Forces Help To Buy scheme.

– Transitional protection will be offered to families, previously allocated accommodation based on rank before this new accommodation policy. They’ll be offered similar-sized properties.

For more information on Personal Accident cover for armed forces personnel click here.

Will the New Accommodation Policy improve SLA housing standards?

Single Living Accommodation standards will be upgraded under the new policy. But what effect will this have on those serving? A minimum standard for SLA has now been established that all of them need to meet. The MOD is currently in the process of assessing existing SLAs and shortlisting what properties need updating to meet these updated requirements. All SLA properties that require improvements need to be changed by April 2024, otherwise, they’ll no longer be used.

FAQs about the New Accommodation Policy

Do you have further questions about the NAP? Find answers to other frequently asked questions below.

Will the new accommodation offer apply to assignments overseas?

The accommodation offer currently only applies to service personnel who receive assignment orders for UK-based roles. Despite this, an overseas offer is being considered, with pilot schemes similar to the NAP in discussion.

Is the NAP being implemented before March 2024?

In the meantime, there will be a limited number of locations that’ll offer Widening of Accommodation Entitlement (WAE(LL)) ahead of March 2024. This is an interim policy launched in October 2023 that is in place until the NAP takes over next year. The goal of this short-term initiative is to help broaden the net of personnel who will now be eligible for an accommodation entitlement under NAP. Essentially it’s kick-starting the NAP process for personnel who would have missed out on accommodation entitlements before the new policy.

So changes to WAE(LL) should you be aware of? It will affect certain personnel in a LTR(E) who receive an assignment order with a report for duty date (RFDD) between 31st October 2023 and 11th March 2024. Personnel who have had their LTR(E) registered with JPA and verified with Unit HR will now be eligible for SFA. However, they need to be at one of the following duty stations:

There has yet to be confirmation on who will be affected first by the new policy. New changes may apply sooner to personnel who are assigned a new role, or when there’s a quick change in personal circumstances. However, all eligible personnel will be affected by the NAP within three years of its March 2024 launch.

  • HMNB Yeovilton
  • HMNB Taunton
  • Leuchars Garrison
  • JHC FS Aldergrove
  • Palace Barracks Holywood
  • Thiepval Barracks Lisburn
  • RAF Cosford
  • RAF Shawbury

Are LTR(E) eligible for the same allowances under the NAP?

Established long-term relationships will now be treated the same as civil partnerships and marriage with the New Accommodation Policy. This will include financial support for moving home, including removal costs, and travel costs. You can find more information on long-term relationships and SFA here.

What type of insurance is required to cover a property under the NAP?

Whether you are a service personnel, veteran or civilian, you should have contents insurance for your homes. This includes those that come under the new policy and ensures that all your military, home, and personal effects are protected. 

Trinity’s range of home insurance products will continue to provide protection and support in light of the NAP.  We have a range of products suitable for different home setups. If you’re in military accommodation, learn about our kit and contents insurance. If you’re in private housing, take a look at our buildings and contents protection.
If you already have a policy with us, this can easily be transferred over if your living situation changes. It covers moving from living in arranged Military Accommodation to private housing. If you’d like to learn more about the home insurance products we offer, please do reach out to us.

Who can provide support and answer questions about this new policy?

More information about the new accommodation policy can be found at the Royal Air Force Families Federation. For further details about NAP, contact the Accommodation Support Cell by emailing them here.