Sleeping Rough: Veterans

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered at on 25 February 2022.

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Photo of Stephanie Peacock Stephanie Peacock Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the advice outlined in Improving access to social housing for members of the Armed Forces 2020 on the prevalence of veteran rough sleeping.

Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

The Government recognises the dedication and sacrifices made by members of the Armed Forces and we are committed to ensuring that they are provided with all the support they need to successfully adjust back into civilian life.

Statutory guidance to improve access to social housing for members of the Armed Forces, veterans, and their families makes clear that seriously injured, ill or disabled Service personnel, and former members of the Armed Forces, with urgent housing needs are always given high priority for social housing.

The allocation of social housing by a local council is the responsibility of the council concerned. Local authorities are best placed to assess the impact of allocations policy on local communities as these will vary, based on local priorities and circumstances.

In 2018, the Government implemented the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, the most ambitious piece of legislative reform in this area in over a decade. This requires the Secretary of State for Defence to refer members of the regular Armed Forces in England to a local housing authority within 56 days if they believe they may be homeless or threatened with homelessness (with the individual’s consent).

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