Supporting our veterans back into civilian society

15 September 2016

The social housing sector is vital for many veterans when they leave the Armed Forces.

Many servicemen and women receive military accommodation while they are in the Armed Forces and do not have a civilian home of their own. That is precisely why the social housing sector becomes so vital for many veterans when they leave the Armed Forces. I will be speaking on day two of this year’s Annual Conference and am delighted that the National Housing Federation is embracing the veterans’ sector and look forward to discussing our work.

The new Veterans’ Housing Advice Office scheme will be a one-stop-shop for veterans on all things housing. There’s no shortage of housing information available – but we need to end the fragmented service that too many veterans experience today. That’s why we at Stoll and 18 veterans’ organisations have received Ministry of Defence funding for this new service to prevent homelessness and meet Veterans’ housing and support needs. To be effective, we will need to pool information from:

  • local authorities
  • homelessness charities
  • housing associations
  • veterans’ organisations.

The scheme will improve transition planning for all service leavers – maximising people’s chances of finding appropriate housing and helping ensure a successful transition into civilian life.

I’ll also be talking about the risk of unintended consequences. We are fortunate that veterans’ needs are a priority for the current Government, but the plans revealed in last year’s Autumn Statement to cap Local Housing Allowance will undermine a lot of that good work and make it unviable for some veterans housing providers to continue, thereby increasing homelessness and poverty within the veterans’ community. In the veterans’ sector alone we would lose 269 supported homes if the Government went ahead with its intended cap.

We also run the very successful Veterans’ Nomination Scheme, a brokerage scheme whereby housing associations and other social landlords ring-fence beds for vetted, low support veterans in urgent need of a home. If you work for a housing association or a local authority and are interested in finding out more or would like to get involved, then please call us on 020 7381 8652.

Finally, I’ll be celebrating. Stoll is a 100 years old – we have been providing veterans with a home and support since 1916 – and we have just announced a commitment to build another 100 homes for vulnerable veterans. I look forward to seeing you at this year’s conference.

Ed Tytherleigh will be speaking at the conference on Thursday 22 September at 12.15pm at a sub-plenary session on veterans housing.

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