As we enter the winter months, it is more important than ever to ensure that no veteran or member of the Armed Forces community should be without a home to call their own. I would like to thank all those across the public sector and charities for their tireless efforts to support these efforts. More generally, for 2020/21 the Government has put in place over £600 million of funding to tackle homelessness across the UK, marking a 65% increase from the previous year.
Homelessness data monitoring veterans is currently available through H-CLIC (Homelessness Case Level Information Collection). Other independent research shows that the rough sleeping figures for veterans are around 3% across the UK.
Serving personnel and veterans benefit from a range of services delivered under the Armed Forces Covenant, such as the MOD’s Forces Help to Buy scheme which has helped around 21,000 Service personnel purchase their own property. All service leavers can now remain in Service Family Accommodation for up to a year after departure and can access military accommodation for up to a year after leaving the military, an extension of six months. Every service leaver also has access to the MOD’s Defence Transition Service to help them find adequate housing, and enhanced support to those who need it through the Veterans Welfare Service. In June 2020, we also published new statutory guidance for local authorities to improve access to social housing for the Armed Forces and veterans community.