Housing: Veterans

Department for Communities and Local Government written question – answered at on 28 March 2017.

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Photo of Lord Jones of Cheltenham Lord Jones of Cheltenham Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the initiative by Cheltenham Borough Council to build homes for veterans; and whether they will encourage other local authorities to take similar action to house those who have left the armed forces.

Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

The Government commends Cheltenham Borough Council for the steps they have taken which are in line with the Armed Forces Covenant and measures which we have put in place to ensure that serving members of the Armed Forces and veterans are given appropriate priority for social housing.

In 2012 we introduced regulations to ensure that seriously injured and disabled Service personnel and former members of the Armed Forces with urgent housing needs are always given high priority for social housing.

At the same time, we introduced regulations to ensure that serving personnel, and veterans who are within 5 years of having been discharged, do not lose their qualification rights for social housing because of the necessity to move from base to base.

Our 2012 statutory social housing allocations guidance goes further and also strongly encourages councils to take into account the needs of all serving or former Service personnel when framing their housing allocation schemes. It gives examples of how councils can do this, including setting aside a proportion of properties for former members of the Armed Forces under a local lettings policy, which is what Cheltenham Borough Council have done.

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