Veterans: Homelessness

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered at on 22 January 2024.

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Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent discussions he has had with the Cabinet Office on the number of veterans made homeless in the last 12 months.

Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he is taking to improve the availability of high-quality affordable housing for veterans.

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

My department has regular discussions with the Cabinet Office on veteran homelessness. The Government is providing £33 million over the next 3 years to increase the service provided to veterans, which includes £20 million for the Veteran Housing Capital Fund that will be used to modernise, rebuild and expand our veteran housing network. This is in addition to £8.55 million funding announced in December 2022 for more than 900 veteran supported housing units with specialist help for former armed forces personnel.

To improve access to affordable housing, we changed the law so that veterans with urgent housing needs are always given ‘additional preference’ (high priority) for social housing and that those who left the forces within the preceding 5 years cannot be disqualified from social housing because of a local connection or residency requirement.

We also published dedicated statutory social housing allocations guidance which sets out how local authorities can support veterans and their families to access social housing.

Veterans have priority for government-funded shared ownership schemes for up to 24 months after leaving the service and are also exempt from any local connection testing restrictions required to be eligible for First Homes, a scheme that gives local first-time buyers a discount of at least 30% on a new home.

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