Social Rented Housing: Armed Forces

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 3rd July 2012.

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Photo of Jim Murphy Jim Murphy Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to his Department's press release of 11 November 2011, entitled House hunting heroes in Government's sights, how many service personnel have subsequently been moved position on housing waiting lists by councils.

Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps The Minister for Housing

holding answer 28 June 2012

The Department does not collect this information.

We have finished consulting on plans to change the law, by regulation, so that former service personnel with urgent housing needs are always given 'additional preference' (i.e. high priority) for social housing, and that service personnel who move from base- to-base do not lose their qualification rights.

Following consultation, we intend to extend these provisions to bereaved spouses and civil partners of service personnel and to members of the Reserve Forces who have been seriously injured. We will bring the new regulations into force as soon as possible.

On 29 June we issued new statutory social housing allocations guidance for councils—setting out how their allocation schemes can give priority to armed forces families, including through the use of local preference criteria and local lettings policies.

The new guidance and regulations are an important part of the Government's commitment to make the social housing system more flexible and responsive, to get the best out of our 4 million social homes, and to make the system fairer for all.

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