Social Housing for HM Forces

Discussion in 'Army Pay, Claims & JPA' started by bloodgroup_o+, Sep 27, 2011.

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  1. Hi folks, this is perhaps not the best place to ask this question but I know a lot of ex-serving financial gurus read in here and one of you may be able to point me in the right direction as I'ev only ever had good financial advice from arrsers in the past. I am currently in the long process of trying to turn around my financial situation and as a result I'm sitting with an empty bank account by the middle of the month. I am arranging to pay off my debt at the moment by way of monthly repayments(the little I can afford), but I currently live in a privately rented flat with my partner and our baby daughter, and as she has only just returned to work this month, I am seriously struggling to meet the rent + my council tax which is 200 smackers a month, which for the area I'm in and the so called "services" seems a bit far fetched to be honest. If it wasn't for HTD I wouldn't be able to drive to work. I had an emergency fund set aside from my tour money (about 4 grand) and slowly but surely this has now gone as I've had to dip into it each month to avoid using my overdraft. The car is almost truly buggered and I am facing the prospect of a payday loan or going to a credit union for help to replace it. The AWS suggested an advance but I am really not wanting to go down that route as I don't want to get my unit involved in my financial situation.

    To get to the point of my question, my partner put her name down for social housing over a year ago, but the only place offered was in an absolute warzone. If we could manage to get social housing it would be much more affordable and after paying my debt it would allow me to save for a deposit much later down the line. I am aware of all the soundbites about Ex forces being a priority for social housing, but how does it stand if you are serving? My partner made them aware of our circumstances but it doesn't seem to have affected our points. I am not married so do not qualify for MQ, and this isnt a matter of me choosing to live 50 miles from work, I simply need to live with my child and partner who happen to live/work in Glasgow. We are not even fussy about which type of accomodation we get as long as it is large enough for our daughter to have her own room, and in a safe area. Is there anything I can say or show to the housing association that would help us go up on the list? I have checked for everything we are entitled to benefits wise, and am still waiting for a tax credit form (4 weeks later after many calls) and I do not qualify for council tax benefit either. I know I should probably just man up and wait it out until things get smoother, but it's getting tighter by the week, we're now at the stage of borrowing electricity money off my family.

    Cheers.
     
  2. bloodgroup_o+ PM inbound
     
  3. Appreciated!
     
  4. bloodgroup_o+ hope things work out ok. what about SSAFA or your Regt association
     
  5. Would you consider getting married, thus entitling (sp) you to an MQ?
    Whatever you do, keep up those repayments though. So long as you continue paying no further action can be taken against you. The baskets can try to get a CCJ against you, but the Courts are starting to crack down on companies who bully people who are in financial difficulties.

    Good luck & keep your chin up.
     
  6. Please dont go through the route of payday loans as that really is a very slippery slope.

    Soldier Mag advertise Resolve UK for debt help, but there was a company that came round the Garrisons who are fee free, I will look through all my literature later and let you know the details.
     
  7. I've been properly skint in the past; it is utterly miserable.

    My advice, you may not like it, get married. You'll get a very cheap house with very cheap bills & your family will be legally recognised and 'the system' will do all that it can to help.

    Unfortunately, there is still a perception in the army that partners & girlfriends and children thereof are just casual affairs and a distraction to a soldier - whereas welfare etc will bend over backwards to help a 'proper family'.
     
  8. OK, first things first, how are you paying your debts? I'd recommend you get professional help on this. There are a number of agencies that can, and will help you for free. Debt Management Plan, Debt Consolidation, Free Debt Advice & Help| Debt Advice | Payplan is one that I have put people in touch with in the past, and they have all been very pleased. It's fee free and they won't recommend something that you cannot afford. They'll look at your incomings and outgoings and will try to sort out an affordable debt management plan before they look at whether an IVA is worthwile for you or not. Even if you don't go with them, it's worth getting in touch to see what they recommend. Much better advice than you'll get from some of us on here.

    As has already been suggested, why are you not getting married and getting a quarter? Much cheaper and you'll almost certainly slash your commuting costs into the bargain.
     
  9. Cant advise as such as I am a long time out of the army now. But I can tell you that 2 years before leaving the army I was in a similar position (due to divorce in my case). So the best I can do is reinforce what others have said and:

    a: Whatever happens don't stop paying what you have agreed to pay.

    Go back and re negotiate if you have to.

    b: Do NOT even consider a pay day loan or anyone offering easy credit to people with financial "problems", they charge up to 3000% in interest and can be very unpleasant indeed if you fall behind with payments.

    c: DO talk to SSAFA, they can help in many ways and could even assist in getting alternative accommodation.

    Keep fighting and keep going. I know it's easy to say, but in my case after a divorce costing me more than 70,000 quid - a lot of money in those days - I had recovered within a couple of years and had finished paying for my own house after 7 years. If I can do it, you can too. Good luck!
     
  10. Agree with all the above dont borrow more to pay off debts or it is a slippery slope, speak to CAB or Resolve or one of those compnay's. I also totally agree with Danny Dravot really consider getting married (on the cheap if needed) you sound like your relationship is fixed with the child and in the long run will save a load.........for instance depending on the MQ you get I currently pay £125 a month for a 3 bedroom...if you specify you only want a two bedroom low graded flat/house with MHE you could be paying peanuts for your accomodation next to work so save a fortune on travelling costs and accomodation plus your CILOCT (council tax)is just over £100 for a two bed your talking a hell of a lot cheaper. Obviously dont just get married to help finances but if your relationship is already strong then it is a very good option. DOnt bury your head though speak with your chain of command and get help or otherwise your job will be on the line if your not fully focussed.Hope all goes well.Just to add I am currently looking at social housing as a back up plan incase I dont get a mortgage when I leave next year and the waiting lists are a bit of a nightmare...search as lots of good recent posts on here reference it. If you look though depending on where you are in the country you could be paying £70-£120 a WEEK if successful so put that against what your paying for MQ a MONT H
     
  11. A big expense is food get on money saving expert forum look at how to bag bargains and learn how to use a slow cooker. Also look at swapping gas and electric suppliers again on the above forum. If you smoke or drink, stop.
     
  12. Good luck in trying to specify to HIC where you want to live, from experience HIC will put you as far away as possible from place of work! If you refuse that SFA you'll go to bottom of list and can wait months for a further offer.
     
  13. OK Booti agree sometimes you cant get close to work depending where your MQ has vacancies but to be honest Ive been lucky...in 24 years never had further than 8 miles to travel with 12 different MQ's..........it is better than the 50 mile trip he has at the moment though and all depends on where he is based.....point taken though but as said has a massively reduced rent than hes paying now in most cases he would be paying a month for what hes paying a week at present.
     
  14. Many thanks for all the replies guys, I've just drawn up a checklist with the various advice you've given and I'm going to go through it with someone from the AWS on Tuesday. I am corresponding to my debtors through the CAB, and it is through them I have sorted out the repayments, but I may go back down to try and renegotiate it, I rang the HMRC today just on the off chance and was told I am due a tax rebate, possibly one that could take a massive chunk out of the remaining debt so fingers crossed. I've been in touch with SSAFA today and I have an appointment with a housing advisor local to my work incoming shortly. I have so far managed to stay away from those pay day loans and avoided getting into any more arrears/loans etc, thats why I joined a credit union just in case of an emergency as their rates are a lot more civil. It's been a bit of an overwhelming experience I must admit, I've no shame in saying I've had tears over it all as my priority is my daughter and making sure she has a better standard of life than I had (as every parent does), it's something just realising how much help and support there is when you just man up and ask, even on here, I really appreciate all the advice and support. i'm only 23 and my fiance is 19 so, needless to say we've made our mistakes quite early financially lol. We have considered getting married earlier aye,we are engaged and its one thing everyone has suggested from my Pl Sgt to the CAB, to be honest I just feel a bit as though we'd only be doing it for financial reasons as we have been having relationship dramas of late due mainly to stress and a few other factors which I'm addressing with DCMH staff, another great help to me lately, dunno what I'd do if I wasn't in the army to be honest! We all moan about how s*** our lot is, but when you have dramas there is so much out there, I just wish I had flagged it all up a lot earlier. I am no where near 70k thankfully (EODMATT that must have been plenty of sleepless nights) and hopefully with the tax rebate and possibly my 5 year bonus depending when that is due to be signed for, I will be able to balance the budget a bit. Plus my OH will be getting regular hours soon hopefully. Again thanks for all the advice, if I ever win the lottery and make a couple million I'll buy you all a round in! Off now to do my monthly budget for the 4th time, every time I do it, I keep forgetting to add small things ie nappies, but it all adds up.