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Housing (Armed Forces Personnel)

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 5th September 2011.

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Photo of David Davies David Davies Chair, Welsh Affairs Committee 2:30 pm, 5th September 2011

What plans his Department has in respect of the provision of housing for current and former members of the armed forces.

Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps The Minister for Housing

I am determined to ensure that those who have served or are serving in the military and armed forces get all the help and assistance possible with purchasing a home, and indeed in the Government’s affordable home programmes.

Photo of David Davies David Davies Chair, Welsh Affairs Committee

I thank the Minister for that reply, but may I draw his attention to today’s Daily Mail, which highlights the rather shocking disparity in the housing accommodation offered to asylum seekers and to ex-members of the armed forces such as Private Alex Stringer, a triple amputee? Can the Minister assure us that the Government will bring forward schemes to prioritise housing for ex-servicemen and women? I believe that those who have recently fought for their country deserve better accommodation than those who have merely recently arrived here?

Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps The Minister for Housing

I say to my hon. and, I believe, gallant Friend that I entirely agree that it is essential that people who have been through armed service for this country should expect not just to have the disadvantages removed of having been away, such as perhaps a lost connection with the local area, but to be positively advantaged. I reassure him that that is exactly what our policy is intended to do. I can tell the House that just this weekend the very first recipients under the Government’s new Firstbuy scheme, in which we aim to ensure that service personnel benefit, were Mr and Mrs Ferguson of Telford, who have just moved into a four-bed home. He was a military policeman in the Army.