Future Accommodation Model

What is FAM?

This short video sets out the FAM policy being piloted from September 2019. It describes the choices available to Service personnel, as well as how to find out more information.

The Future Accommodation Model has been successfully trailed over 3 stations across the UK since 2019 and will be coming to RAF Lossiemouth in April 2023. This means if you are considering a posting with us in the future, you will have access to this new range of accommodation.

Options that are available to you

Private Rental Sector (PRS):

You will receive a rental payment to enable you to rent a property equivalent to the SFA you need, at broadly the same cost. The rental payment you receive will depend on individual circumstances. You can also get a loan from MOD to cover deposit and expenses related to finding a property if you are moving into the PRS, or moving property within the PRS. Note: This is not available for social housing.

Home Ownership:

You may receive financial support towards maintaining your own home depending on eligibility. You might receive a payment towards your regular mortgage payments, and could receive other support (such as refund of legal expenses). You can also make use of Forces Help to Buy. If you currently rent your home you may also be eligible for support, depending how far from the pilot site your home is.

Service Family Accommodation (SFA) and Single Living Accommodation (SLA):

SLA is available to all Serving Personnel and you will be charged as per existing policies and processes. Your individual circumstances determine SFA eligibility

Find out more:


Many Service personnel have been living in the PRS for years, but now support is available to help them, as well as those who would also like to make this move. Under this option, the MOD will provide a level of financial support to enable you to rent a property that meets your needs which is broadly comparable to SFA.

You can rent a home on your own, with friends, your partner or family.

The payments you will receive will be based on the location of your property, your relationship status, the number of registered entitled children you have and the average cost of housing equivalent to SFA at the location of your pilot site. New renters can also access allowances to help with securing a rental property.

Each pilot site has a FAM Cell who can provide support. Under special circumstances, for example if you are serving overseas or deployed on operations, further support is available.

Read JSP 464, Volume 4, Chapter II, Section VI for further information.

The following conditions apply when applying for the PRS:

  • in order to be eligible for financial support under the FAM pilot, your PRS property needs approval as a Residence at Work Address (RWA)
  • you can choose where you want to live provided it is in line with home to duty regulations and within a specified distance as set out in the FAM policy. Full details can be found in JSP 464, Volume 4, Chapter 2, Section I
  • you can choose to share a home with someone who does not qualify as partner or dependant under the FAM pilot. However, if you are required to move for duty reasons, MOD will only cover the cost of your share of the tenancy costs, and you will need to make your own arrangements with those you choose to live with when it is time for you to move out (it’s important they are aware of the consequences for them if you are required to move for service reasons).
  • you cannot claim FAM payments for renting a home that you have previously owned. Whether you owned this alone or with a spouse, civil partner or someone you were in a recognised LTR(E) with
  • you cannot claim FAM payments to rent a room in a property where the landlord is resident. You must have a tenancy agreement with your name on it to claim your FAM payments. This means lodging tenancy agreements and lodging licences are excluded from the FAM policy
  • if you choose to live with another SP then the rental payment will be split between the two of you

Please refer to the PRS section of this website for further information on selecting, living in, and moving out of your home.

Payments for the private rental sector

If your preference to live in the private rental sector is confirmed by the FAM Cell, the following payments apply to you:

The FAM rental payment

This is a regular payment towards the cost of your rent, and is made up of two parts:

  • the core payment: this is a standard fixed sum payment made to eligible personnel on pilot sites. All renters will receive the core payment
  • the geographical payment, this varies based on your location and will be adjusted based on the number of eligible children. It also includes an adjustment to reflect the cost of council tax in the area. Renters living within 50 miles of the pilot site will receive this payment too

See JSP 464, Volume 4, Annex I for more detail.

In addition to your FAM rental payment you will need to contribute towards your rent. This is your personal contribution. This will be broadly equivalent to the charge required to live in a comparable SFA property at CAAS Band B.

You can choose a property that costs more than the FAM rental payment you are eligible to receive however; you will have to cover the additional cost yourself through an increased personal contribution. You may also choose a property which has a lower value than the FAM rental payment you are eligible to receive. In this event, both your rental payment and expected personal contribution would be reduced. This is called gainshare which ensures any savings made are shared between you and the MOD.

For more information on how the FAM rental payment is calculated and gainshare, read JSP 464, Volume 4, Chapter 2, Section III.

In order to receive the FAM rental payment, you will need to provide unit HR at the FAM pilot site with a copy of your signed tenancy agreement. Unit HR may also wish to see evidence that are covered by transitional protection if relevant, for example a copy of your APF. Unit HR will then update JPA and confirm the rental payment you will receive. Your monthly salary will be adjusted to include this rental payment value. You are responsible for paying your landlord, the monies will not be deducted from your pay.

The FAM section of the Discover My Benefits (DMB) website will help you estimate your total FAM rental payment based on your individual circumstances.

Advances for the private rental sector

There are also financial advances available to help you with the upfront costs of securing a property. These advances are available if you are moving into the PRS for the first time, or once you are in the PRS if you are moving from one PRS property to another. The Discover My Benefits (DMB) tool can also be used to estimate the total advance amount you may receive.

Deposit and 1 month’s rent advance (repaid at end of tenancy)

It is normal to pay a deposit for a property in the PRS in order to secure it. This is generally equal to between 5 and 8 weeks rent. In addition, the first month’s rent may be requested before the move in date. These payments are required before, or when, the tenancy agreement is signed.

If you believe you may need financial support to meet these upfront costs and you are moving into the PRS for the first time, or moving property within the PRS, you can apply for a deposit and a 1 month rent advance from the MOD before beginning your new property search. This will ensure that you have the funds available to secure a property at the earliest opportunity. The deposit and 1 month rent advance is available in the form of a salary advance because you will apply for and receive this before you find a property:

  • you may be given more money than you end up needing to cover the final deposit amount. If this happens, once you have paid your deposit and first month’s rent any extra amount will be recovered through payroll
  • you may request less than you end up needing. You’ll be responsible for covering the shortfall upfront, but this shortfall will be addressed by an additional deposit and one month’s rent amount delivered through payroll

The Discover My Benefits Tool can help you in estimating the amount of deposit and upfront rent you are likely to need. We know that working out the amount of advance to apply for isn’t easy. Your FAM Cell can help to advise on how much to apply for based on the local area. If you apply for more than you need, be aware that you will need to pay this back.

Once your iExpense request for a deposit and 1 month’s rent advance has been processed, you will receive your advance within 3 working days and can begin your property search. You will have 90 days within which to find accommodation. Once you have secured a property you will need to take your tenancy agreement to unit HR which will provide details on the final deposit requirements. At this point, unit HR will update JPA with the exact details of the deposit and if relevant immediately recover any excess amount paid to you via payroll.

If you request and receive a deposit and 1 month’s rent advance and have not presented a tenancy agreement to unit HR within a 3 month time frame, the full amount you received will be recovered. If you have extenuating circumstances that have prevented you from securing a property within this time frame, please ensure you speak to your local FAM Cell as soon as possible so appropriate action can be taken.

If you find yourself in a position where you have to pay rent for 2 different properties for a period of time and therefore experience an overlap in rental accommodation cost, you will be permitted to request a second deposit and 1 month’s rent advance for the second PRS property.

The amount that you paid your landlord/agency for deposit and first month’s rent will be recovered from you by MOD at the end of your tenancy, once you have received your deposit back. You have the option to repay this earlier if you wish, talk to unit HR to find out more.

Rental advance (repaid monthly)

You can apply for a rental advance in addition to your deposit and 1 month’s rent advance, if you are moving into the PRS for the first time, or moving property within the PRS. You can apply for a rental advance for up to 6 months rent in advance to help secure your rental property. This may be for reasons such as, but not limited to; short notice assignments, JPA processing times, payroll submission deadlines which would result in the rental payment not reaching you in time to commence payment of rent. If you are unable to secure a tenancy agreement without a guarantor, you can also request a rental advance in lieu of a guarantor, subject to this being accepted by their landlord or rental agency.

Your tenancy agreement will provide information on the start date of your tenancy and your monthly rental amount which will inform the rental advance you are eligible for. Once approved, your rental advance will be processed via JPA and you will receive the full rental advance within 3 working days.

The rental advance amount will be repaid to the MOD from your monthly pay. The recovery process will be deferred until 3 months after the date you applied for the rental advance. The monthly amount deducted from your pay will be subject to minimum drawing rate regulations and will be a maximum of 1 month’s rent. For example, if you ask for 3 months advance, you will repay the sum borrowed over 3 months. You have the option to repay this earlier if you wish, talk to your unit HR to find out more.

Expenses relating to sourcing a property

You are entitled to up to 7 days leave when sourcing a property in the PRS, if you are moving into the PRS for the first time. In this instance you can also claim reasonable expenses incurred, for example travel and subsistence when searching for your property for 4 of these 7 days. Transaction costs payable for each qualifying move are limited. For more detail on sourcing costs, including which moves qualify for this provision, please see JSP 464, Volume 4, Chapter 2, Section V.

Home Ownership

Currently own a home

If you currently maintain your own home you may continue to do so under FAM.

The support you are eligible for will depend on how far from the FAM pilot site your home is located. If you are eligible for FAM at your pilot site you will receive a core payment towards maintaining your home if:

  • you are already maintaining your own home, as your selected place of residence which is more than the specified distance, as set out in the FAM policy, from your assigned FAM pilot site. If your home is less than the specified distance then you will not receive a FAM core payment.

If you receive a core payment to maintain your own home this will be in place of any SLA waiver you receive today for the duration of your assignment to the pilot site. Further information on eligibility for the maintain own home option can be found in JSP 464, Volume 4, Chapter 5.

Note: If you already own a home outside the specified distance and want to receive the FAM core payment, you will need to submit an Accommodation Preference Form, followed by taking your legal paperwork to Unit HR.

Buying a home

You have the choice to buy a new home, whether you are single or in a relationship. If you are eligible for Forces Help to Buy, you can also choose to make use of this scheme in line with current policy.

If you are eligible for FAM at your pilot site you will receive a Core Payment towards your home if:

  • you buy a new home, within 50 miles of the assigned pilot site, as a residence at work address (RWA) (Note: If you purchased your home before your assigned pilot site went live and you live within 50 miles of your assigned pilot site, you will not receive a FAM payment)
  • you buy a new home, greater than 50 miles away from the pilot site, as a selected place of residence

If you receive a core payment to maintain your own home this will be in place of any SLA waiver you receive today for the duration of your assignment to the pilot site. Further information on eligibility for the maintain own home option can be found in JSP 464, Volume 4, Chapter 5.

If you choose to buy a home as part of the FAM pilot, you will need to complete an Accommodation Preference Form and take your legal paperwork to Unit HR to initiate the Core Payment. Talk to your FAM Cell to find out more.

If you choose to buy your own home when you are already living at a pilot site, you will be entitled to a funded move.

If you choose to buy your first home when you have been assigned to a FAM pilot site, you will also be entitled to a payment to help towards the costs of legal expenses and legal fees incurred when buying a home. Refund of legal expenses (new buyer) (RLE (NB)) is a reimbursement payment for actual receipted costs paid to a solicitor or conveyancing legal professional. The payment is capped at £1,500 and can only be claimed on completion of the house purchase.

Example SFA housing

Individual Circumstances

Long term relationships

Under the FAM pilot, personnel in an established long term relationship (LTR(E)) will be entitled to, rather than eligible for, subsidised accommodation. In other areas, that are not part of the pilot, the entitlement extends to surplus accommodation only.

In line with current policy, you will need to register your LTR(E) on JPA and have it verified by unit HR for it to be approved. This will enable your FAM payments to be calculated correctly.

Entitled children

If you are eligible for accommodation at a FAM pilot site and have children living with either you or an LTR(E) partner that are:

  • under 18 years old
  • or 24 years or under and in full-time education at a school, college or university

and are resident with you for over 80 nights per calendar year, then you may be entitled to additional accommodation support.

Whilst personnel are still allowed to have nannies or au-pairs, they will not qualify as dependants under FAM, meaning you would need to contribute extra to cover the additional bedroom(s) required .

You will need to register your qualifying dependants on JPA for them to be recognised and included in your FAM payments. This should be done prior to submitting an accommodation preference form (APF).