Families in Service Families Accommodation (SFA), and those hoping to occupy SFA, need to be aware of changes to the way in which you apply for your accommodation.
Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is responsible for the management and allocation of Forces housing. DIO now allocates family accommodation through the Housing Allocations Service Centre (HASC) which has replaced the Housing Information Centres (HICs). After much testing, the HASC is introducing an enhanced version of the e1132 which will be known as the e1132 Self Preference application form.
From 8.30am on 20 June, all applications for housing within the UK will be made using the e1132 Self Preference form via DII or intranet enabled terminals. There is a list of exceptions where paper applications can still be used – see the DIO website for details – but be aware that incomplete or illegible paper applications will be returned for alteration which may delay your allocation.
The Service person will be able to view available properties that match their entitlement and can register three properties in priority order of preference. There is no guarantee that you will be allocated one of your preferred properties as allocation will depend on availability, timings and other factors.
The HASC will review each application and will then make a formal offer
If you are unhappy with the property which you have been allocated/offered you should consider carefully whether rejecting it is the right choice. This is because DIO does not have to make you another offer within a set timeframe. If you turn down a property you may not be offered another within a timeframe that suits you. If you do not move within three months of your soldier’s start date at their new posting because you refused the first SFA offered, you will not be entitled to removals or Disturbance Allowance.
What the e1132 can and can’t do
The good news is the launch of the Self Preference system is an integral part of the transformation of allocation services. It will allow DIO and the HASC to dramatically improve the level of support it provides to Service personnel and their families. In particular, it will offer families more information (and transparency) of the allocation of their next home. Families will be able to view the properties which are available (some applications for additional needs, tied quarters etc will not see any preferences and will be routed straight to the HASC). The majority will have a photograph and some will have floor plans and internal images. There is an on- going programme to capture the information until all SFA are covered.
The new process means that ALL correspondence will be done electronically – the serving person will be able to track the progress online. The hope is that the increase in electronic communication will decrease calls to the HASC and this will give them more time to focus on allocations. The Service person will be able to sign the Licence to Occupy and book their ‘Pre move -out’, ‘Move-out’ and ‘Move-In’ appointment online.
However, the not so good news is that availability of SFA has not increased, so the e1132 cannot guarantee that all families will get their choice of housing. Families should not regard the introduction of the e1132 Self Preference form as a guarantee that they will get their preferred housing option – the same supply/demand problems still exist. The application procedure must be made on a DII terminal (available to Defence personnel only). There is a ‘Print Details’ tab for all properties that produces a PDF with all the property details. The serving person can either email this home or print it and take it home.