0131 550 1561 office@veteransscotland.org.uk


Finding somewhere to live when we leave the Services is usually our highest priority.  Most of us find a home to buy or rent, but for some of us, disability or other problems can make the process difficult.  This section is aimed principally at such Veterans and provides access to organisations that aim to make a difficult process easier.

Veteran housing

When you leave the armed forces, the options for where you and your family can live include:

  • renting a property
  • buying a property
  • housing support
  • veteran housing charities
  • support if you are in danger of being or have been made homeless

Information about housing is available in the Scottish housing guide for people leaving the armed forces and ex-service personnel.

You can find general advice on leaving the armed forces in the GOV.UK Service Leavers Pack.

A housing guide for people leaving the armed forces and ex-service personnel

Deciding where to live is one of the most important choices you and your family will need to make on leaving the armed forces. It is never too early to think about where you will set up home. Whether you are due to leave in a year, a couple of months or have already left, there is support out there to help you.

The information contained in the recently updated "A Scottish housing guide for people leaving the Armed Forces & ex-Service personnel"  sets out some of your housing options in Scotland and also looks at some of the questions you might have. It also gives you information about where you can go for further advice and support.  A copy of the guide is available via the link below.

A Scottish housing guide for people leaving the Armed Forces & ex-Service personnel


Local Authority Housing

Local Authority Housing Departments

There are 32 Local Authorities (LA) in Scotland. Each LA in Scotland runs their own housing department. If you think you may need to apply for social housing when you leave the forces get in touch with the LA as soon as possible. Below is a list of all 32 Local Authorities websites and contact telephone numbers. DO NOT LEAVE IT TO THE LAST MINUTE.

Local Authority Phone Website
Aberdeen City Council 01224 522000 www.aberdeencity.gov.uk
Aberdeenshire Council 0845 608 1207 www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk
Angus Council 08452 777778 www.angus.gov.uk
Argyll & Bute Council 01546 602127 www.argyll-bute.gov.uk
City of Edinburgh Council 0131 200 2000 www.edinburgh.gov.uk
City of Glasgow 0141 287 2000 www.glasgow.gov.uk
Clackmannanshire Council 01259 450 000 www.clacks.gov.uk
Comhairlenan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) 01851 703773 www.w-isles.gov.uk
Dumfries and Galloway Council 0303 333 3000 www.dumgal.gov.uk
East Dunbartonshire Council 0845 045 4510 www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk
Dundee City Council 01382 434000 www.dundeecity.gov.uk
East Ayrshire Council 01563 576 000 www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk
East Lothian Council 01620 827 827 www.eastlothian.gov.uk
East Renfrewshire Council 0141 577 3001 www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk
Falkirk Council 01324 506 070 www.falkirk.gov.uk
Fife Council 08451 550000 www.fife.gov.uk
Highland Council 0845 129 7777 www.highland.gov.uk
Inverclyde Council 01475 717171 www.inverclyde.gov.uk
Midlothian Council 0131 270 7500 www.midlothian.gov.uk
Moray Council 01343 543451 www.moray.gov.uk
North Ayrshire Council 0845 603 0590 www.north-ayrshire.gov.uk
North Lanarkshire Council 01698 403200 www.northlan.gov.uk
Orkney Islands Council 01865 249811 www.orkney.gov.uk
Perth and Kinross Council 01738 475000 www.pkc.gov.uk
Renfrewshire Council 0141 842 5000 www.renfrewshire.gov.uk
Scottish Borders Council 01835 824000 www.scotborders.gov.uk
Shetland Islands Council 01595 693535 www.shetland.gov.uk
South Ayrshire Council 01292 612000 www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk
South Lanarkshire Council 01698 454444 www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk
Stirling Council 0845 277 7000 www.stirling.gov.uk
West Dunbartonshire Council 01389 737000 www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk
West Lothian Council 01506 775000 www.westlothian.gov.uk

Housing Options Scotland (HOS)

HOS are a charity who provide advice on Housing in Scotland to service personnel with a physical or mental disability or with a family member with a physical or mental disability.

They have now expanded their service to any service leaver, regardless or injury or no injury: Email:


Website: www.housingoptionsscotland.org.uk

Housing Options Scotland’s Military Matters project have produced a new guide to help veterans who are moving home in Scotland.  The guide gives a full list of organisations that help veterans as well as more information around the team at Military Matters.  You can find the guide here: https://housingoptionsscotland.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/MM-Supp-guide-6.pdf

Low Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT)

LIFT (Low Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers) OMSE (Open Market Shared Equity) is a shared equity scheme funded by the Scottish Government to help first time buyers, and other priority groups – including those serving in the armed forces and veterans who have left the forces in the last two years, get onto the property ladder.

When buying through the scheme, eligible applicants can apply for funding towards the price of a property that has been advertised for sale on the open market. The Scottish Government helps buyers to purchase a property by providing funding for between 10% and 40% of the sale price and gets the same percentage back when the property is sold. There are restrictions to the size and price of property that can be bought through the scheme (see website for full details).

Link administer the scheme for the Scottish Government for the whole of Scotland. More information can be found on our website (www.linkhousing.org.uk/LIFT) or on the page we have created specifically for the armed forces www.linkhousing.org.uk/armedforces the page has a video explaining the scheme and downloadable pdfs with details of the pricing thresholds for each area. We will continue to update the information on the page so let me know if there is anything specific that you think would be useful to include. When buying through a shared equity scheme, the majority of buyers can do so with a much smaller deposit (usually around 5% - depending on the mortgage provider) so buying a property is much more accessible.

Additional advice on housing

Shelter Scotland can also provide additional information on a wide range of housing and homeless issues that you may have.  They can provide information on finding a place to live, Renting right as well as information on eviction and repossession of your house/home and how to stop it.  Follow the link below to find out more about your options:


In this section you will find leaflets from Housing Options Scotland about the home buying process, benefits and many other leaflets that you might find useful. At the bottom of this section you will also find useful leaflets from other organisations.  If you cannot find what you are looking for please contact us and we will be happy to advise you in any way we can.

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Scottish Housing Regulator

The Scottish Housing Regulator collect a range of financial and performance information about each landlord and the sector as a whole. We use this to monitor and assess landlord performance against the Scottish Social Housing Charter and to decide the level of engagement we need to have with each landlord.

Housing Options Scotland

Tel: 0131 510 1567 Email: info@housingoptionsscotland.org.uk

Military Matters is a specialist project within Housing Options Scotland providing an independent housing advice service to serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.  We offer clients a tailored individual service to review and consider their housing options whether they are already resident in Scotland or are considering living in Scotland in the future.


Thanks to financial support from the Scottish Government and Poppyscotland we have now provided detailed housing information and advice to dozens of serving personnel and veterans. The advice is free and we are already working alongside organisations such as SSAFA and the Armed Services Advice Programme (ASAP) in providing support to those who require it.  Our website explains how to access our services.


Major report outlines homelessness experience of veterans

A detailed new report into veterans’ homelessness in Scotland is recommending that every local authority housing department should have an armed forces lead officer, social landlords should prioritise ex-Service personnel and more support should be provided for tenancy sustainment in the private rented sector.

Major report outlines homelessness experience of veterans

Afghanistan veteran Sam (Image credit Veterans Housing Scotland)

Veterans’ Scotland Housing Group was asked by the Scottish Government to produce a report looking in detail at factors leading to or contributing to homelessness among people leaving the forces.

Containing 24 recommendations to improve the housing experience of veterans, the ‘Veterans’ Homelessness Prevention Pathway’ has been produced in partnership by Homeless Network ScotlandHousing Options Military MattersScottish Veterans ResidencesVeterans Housing ScotlandVeterans Scotland and the report’s author is Dr Steve Rolfe, from the University of Stirling. It will feed into the government’s Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan, which includes Pathways similar to this one for other groups at particular risk.

Approximately 800 homelessness applications annually in Scotland are from households with a member who was previously in the Services. Concerns remain that the true figure could be higher. Veterans affected by homelessness are more likely than non-veterans to experience rough sleeping and other complex issues, with one estimate quoted in the Pathway report attributing service experiences as a cause of homelessness in around 25% of cases. Also highlighted in the report is that homelessness can occur many years after discharge from the Forces because of what is known as ‘delayed transition’ which can be due to a reluctance to seek help or the deferred impact of previous trauma.

The report highlights an additional housing challenge for military households in the degree of mobility they experience. Moving around can make it more difficult to buy a home until nearer the end of a military career, with single people often finding transition particularly difficult if they have lived in Armed Forces accommodation for many years.

Sam was a combat medical technician in Afghanistan before a knee injury and post traumatic stress disorder led to her being medically discharged. Sam could not find settled housing and was struggling to see a positive outcome until getting help from support organisations and the local council last year. Sam now has a home and a pet dog called Kiera – she is training to become a paramedic.

Sam said: “When I was preparing to leave the Army, I found it difficult to navigate the housing system, I had no knowledge of homelessness and in the job, everything is provided. I think people leaving the Forces find it hard to ask for help sometimes, either because of pride or just not knowing where to go. I am grateful to Housing Options Scotland, Veterans Housing Scotland and East Lothian Council. This place is so much more than a new home, it represents a new start and I want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped me along the way.”

Housing secretary, Shona Robison MSP, said: “I welcome this report and thank everyone involved for the time spent developing its recommendations. We’re working to end homelessness in Scotland once and for all. We are also continually aware of the great sacrifices that veterans have made – they cannot be allowed to suffer any disadvantage as a result of their service. This report highlights the challenges and where improvements can be made, and we will continue to review the findings as part of our work to ensure everyone in Scotland has a home that meets their needs.”

Kevin Gray, CEO of Veterans Housing Scotland and chair of the Veterans Scotland Housing Group, said: “Working with committed colleagues in the veterans community, charity sector and people with lived experience of homelessness willing to devote time and energy to produce a pathway that will prevent homelessness has been incredible, thank you to all those involved.

“Nobody should have to face homelessness and this report supports the overall aim of reducing and preventing homelessness for veterans in Scotland. It should be looked upon as a credible tool to support people who have served their country, moved on and require a settled home. Our aim must be to provide affordable and appropriate housing that allows military veterans and their families to lead active, dignified and positive lives when their service comes to an end, while remaining connected to support organisations throughout Scotland and networks of people with similar experiences.”

The 24 Recommendations are grouped around seven themes:

  • appropriate timely information
  • complexity of the housing system
  • delayed transition effects – sustaining a tenancy
  • coordination and awareness of veterans’ issues
  • specific policy barriers
  • equalities
  • making sure the Pathway is implemented.

With one day of military service sufficient for someone to be classed as a veteran and diversity within the military increasing, the range of experiences and needs people have moving back into civilian life is recognised. Considering disability, equality, age, ethnicity and other characteristics a one-size-fits-all approach is no longer an option. The team preparing the report spoke to veterans, people with experience of homelessness and professionals providing support. The finished document adds to existing evidence as well as contributing a fresh perspective on what is needed to ensure everyone leaving the Services receives the type of support they need as quickly as possible.

MOD Joint Service Housing Advice Office

Tel: 01252 787574 Email: RC-AWS-JSHAO-0mailbox@mod.gov.uk

Floor 2, Zone 2 , Montgomery House, Queens Avenue, Aldershot GU11 2JN

Provide civilian housing information to Service personnel and their dependants 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. They also assist in signposting or placement of, where possible, ex-Service personnel still occupying Service Accommodation who may need social housing.


Royal Air Force Association (Moffat)

Patrick Rendall – Welfare Manager
Tel: 01683 221173 Email: patrick.rendall@rafa.org.uk

Dowding House , Moffat DG10 9 AW

Dowding House is situated in Moffat in Scotland and has 26 flats. Any ex-RAF men or women, their widows and widowers who have reached normal retirement age may apply. Tenants must be able to live an independent life albeit within a secure environment.


Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund

Tel: 0131 202 1585

Suite 3, Pure Offices, 4-5 Lochside Way, Edinburgh Park, Edinburgh, EH12 9DT

Since our foundation in 1919, we have been there, through thick and thin, supporting the RAF family. We are there for all serving and former members of the RAF as well as their partners and dependent children.


Royal Hospital Chelsea

Sara Addelsee – In- Pensioner Admissions Officer
Tel: 02078 815244 Email: saraaddelsee@chelsea-pensioners.org.UK-wide

Royal Hospital Road , London SW3 4SR

There are few institutions in the United Kingdom with an unbroken three centuries of service and none of them is so close to the heart of the nation as “The Men in Scarlet”, the Chelsea Pensioners, and their home, the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Founded in 1682 by King Charles II, the Royal Hospital still serves its original purpose and intends to continue to further its role well into the 21st Century and will be here for today’s young soldiers on the front line when they retire.


Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

Tel: 0141 332 8113 Fax: 0141 332 9684 Email: sfha@sfha.co.uk

Pegasus House , 375 West George Street, Glasgow G2 4LW

The SFHA is the national representative body for Scotland’s housing associations and co-operatives. Our affiliated members include, housing associations, registered housing associations and co-operatives throughout Scotland. You can search through them using the web address link below.


Scottish Veterans’ Residences

Tel: 0131 558 8808 Email: info@svronline.org

53 Canongate , Edinburgh EH8 8BS

SVR is Scotland’s oldest ex-service charity, founded in 1910 to support independent living for ex-service men and women of all ages and their spouses who find themselves in times of need. SVR provides unique and unrivalled accommodation as well as supporting independent living. We enable our residents to live in a safe, secure and supportive community environment.