asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they have conducted any review over the past two years of the application of social housing policy for ex-service personnel; and, if so, what were the review's conclusions.
The Ministry of Defence, in close co-operation with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), has been pursuing a number of initiatives to assist ex-service personnel in meeting their housing needs. These measures have included an amendment to the Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities, recognising that service personnel who leave at a recognised option point are not making themselves intentionally homeless, and the inclusion of service personnel into the Government's key worker scheme. We are exploring with DCLG the possibility of recognising a local connection for personnel leaving the Armed Forces. Following the success of the Galleries Hostel Project in Richmond North Yorkshire, MoD, in conjunction with DCLG and the English Churches Housing Group, is providing a 25-bed hostel for single ex-service personnel in Aldershot. The building is expected to be completed by the summer of 2007. This will offer the benefits of housing, training and support to ex-service men and women in the south. We have also developed a number of schemes to assist personnel, while they are still serving, to buy their own homes.