Armed Forces Home Ownership Scheme: What Is It And How Can It Help You?

by Tim Bishop on October 15, 2013

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Update – the Armed Forces Home Ownership Scheme was replaced in April 2014 by the Forces Help To Buy Scheme .

If you’re currently serving in the military, you could be eligible to apply for the Armed Forces Home Ownership Scheme – also known as AFHOS. This is a scheme that was introduced to help serving personnel buy a house – helping with both the initial cost and with their mortgage – allowing them to get their foot on the property ladder.

What Does The Armed Forces Home Ownership Scheme Include?

The scheme basically gives you the opportunity to accept an equity loan of 15-50% of the value of the house you choose. The home you decide on must be on the open market and generally will be bought through an estate agent. This gives you a huge financial boost and allows you to go for houses than you normally wouldn’t be able to afford on your own. For more details, take a look at their website or ask a local military lawyer for guidance.

AFHOS -Who Is Eligible?

To be eligible, you have to have more than 4 years and less than 6 years’ service from your enlistment date, and it must be continuous service in the armed forces (the MOD will be asked to confirm this on your behalf). You must also not be able to afford to buy a house on your own, as this scheme is only open to those who really need it. You do, however, have to show that you have sufficient funds to pay a deposit on the house, as well as legal fees and other costs involved with moving. You will need to have good credit history (this means that you can’t have adverse credit history, be in breach of a tenancy agreement or have rent arrears during the previous twelve months), and be able to sustain ownership of the home for the long term. You can’t be named on the deeds of another property, so therefore if you own an existing house, it must be sold before you apply for the scheme.

Other Things To Note With AFHOS

Unfortunately, 2013/2014 is the last year of the pilot scheme, so it is not guaranteed that all applicants will be granted the funds in the future. The current funding is limited and is given out on a first come, first served basis, and there is no restriction due to household income levels or other factors. It is definitely worth noting that if you’re not eligible to apply for this scheme and can’t afford to buy your own house outright, there are many other programmes available for serving military personnel (such as the Long Service Advance Of Pay and others), so get in touch with a local military lawyer to see which scheme you’d be eligible for.

For more information on this scheme, take a look online or contact the Swaythling Housing Society Ltd in Hampshire – the programme is delivered through this Scheme Agent and they will be able to answer any questions you might have on eligibility and on applying for the scheme.

Tim Bishop is the senior partner of Bonallack and Bishop – specialist military lawyers with expertise in helping serving members of UK military with property ownership. For specialist Forces Help To Buy or Long Service Advance of Pay Advice, call them now on 01722 422300 or visit their specialist websites at and


Tim Bishop
Having qualified as a Solicitor in 1986, Tim Bishop is a legal entrepreneur who owns law firm Bonallack & Bishop. Find out why you should choose the property law solicitors at Bonallack & Bishop: Visit
Tim Bishop

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