Richmondshire District Council

Preventing homelessness

Anyone leaving the armed forces, or is a former member, may be entitled to help from the council if they are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

The government has made a commitment to support ex-forces personnel, veterans and their families to provide the support they need and ensure they are treated with the dignity they deserve.

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, which came into force on 3 April 2018, significantly reformed England's homelessness legislation by placing duties on local authorities to intervene at earlier stages to prevent homelessness in their areas. It also requires housing authorities to provide homelessness services to all those affected, not just those who have a 'priority need'. These include:

  • an enhanced prevention duty extending the period a household is threatened with homelessness from 28 to 56 days, meaning that authorities are required to work with people to prevent homelessness at an earlier stage
  • a new duty for those who are already homeless, so that authorities will support households for 56 days to relieve their homelessness by helping them to secure accommodation

The council will start working to prevent your homelessness (as long as you are eligible) as soon as you present your 93 day notice - giving the armed forces and ex-forces personnel an extra 37 days outside of the statutory duty period of 56 days.

Notice to vacate

Once you are in receipt of your 'Notice to vacate/93 day notice', contact our housing options team as soon as possible and they will help you prevent/relieve your homelessness. The team can be contacted via email at or by telephoning 01748 901150.

You must consider private rental property. We may assist you to secure a six month assured short hold tenancy in the private sector. Visit Rightmove for further information on available properties.

If you meet the eligibility criteria you may also register for social housing online at North Yorkshire Home Choice.

Who is eligible?

In the home choice allocations policy, armed forces members are defined as someone who is:

  • serving in the regular forces or who has served in the regular armed forces - including those existing members of the regular armed forces who are suffering from a serious injury, illness or disability as a result of their service who may need to move out of their existing accommodation to suitably adapted social housing before they complete their service, or who were serving in the regular forces at any time in the five years preceding their application for an allocation of social housing.
  • serving or has served in the reserve forces who are suffering from a serious injury, illness, or disability which is wholly or partially attributable to their service
  • bereaved spouses or civil partners of those serving in the regular forces where: 
    (i) the bereaved spouse or civil partner has recently ceased, or will cease to be entitled, to reside in Ministry of Defence accommodation following the death of their service spouse or  civil partner  
    (ii) the death was wholly or partly attributable to their service

The definitions above extend to applications from former service personnel where the application is made within five years following discharge.