NEW measures to ensure access to social housing is improved for members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families have been announced by Housing Minister Christopher Pincher.
The government has set out how councils should ensure members of the Armed Forces and veterans who need support with their mental health, because of conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, are given the priority for social housing.
Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP commented on the announcement:”The health and well-being of our Armed Forces, whether they are Regulars, Reservists or veterans, is a priority for this government.
“I want to ensure serving and former members of the Armed Forces who suffer from mental ill health are given the priority for social housing they deserve, together with appropriate care and support.”
New measures also mean former spouses or civil partners of serving personnel will be given extra support when applying for social housing.
They will be exempted from rules requiring them to be a local resident before being given social housing in the area to ensure they are not disadvantaged when applying.
Guidance has been issued to councils to encourage staff-training so they understand the circumstances of the Armed Forces community and consider their housing needs appropriately.
This will also promote a consistent approach across councils in how they consider social housing applications.
Since 2012, current and former service personnel who have been recently discharged have not had to be “resident” in an area to get access to a social home for their families, as part of the Armed Forces Covenant.
Under the Covenant, veterans with more urgent housing needs are also eligible for additional preferences for social housing.