Ed Tytherleigh 14 October 2019

No homeless veterans

No homeless veterans image

Most veterans do make a smooth transition from military to civilian life, but it is still far too easy for ex-service personnel, especially young veterans and early service leavers, to end up homeless and on the streets. Our analysis of government data shows that homeless veterans are being missed and are losing out on the enhanced support and housing available to them.

Recent Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MCHLG) homelessness data shows that over the past year just 1,780 homeless veterans were identified and housed by local authority housing services, just 0.72% of all accepted cases. We believe this figure should be far higher as our research shows that 3% of homeless people come from a service background, meaning up to 4,000 veterans are slipping through the net and failing to receive the support they’re entitled to each year.

We have recently launched the No Homeless Veterans campaign to address this issue and reduce veterans’ homelessness as close to zero as possible. It calls on local authorities, homelessness charities and advice agencies to ‘Think Veteran’ in order to identify former servicemen and women and signpost them to the best possible support.

As part of the campaign we have outlined crucial steps local authorities should be following in order to ensure there are no homeless veterans. We want local authorities to ask every person who applies for housing whether they are a veteran and know what to do when they identify one. This includes routinely asking everyone who applies for housing whether they have served in the military; having a robust system in place to record veterans’ data; giving frontline staff the knowledge where to refer veterans when identified and ensuring they are up to date with the guidance and legislation relating to veterans in our local authority Toolkit developed in partnership with the Royal British Legion.

Our aim is that every single local authority should identify and refer veterans to appropriate services so they can find somewhere appropriate to live as soon as possible. This includes signposting them to the Veteran’s Gateway, the specialist telephone and web-based advice service for veterans in the UK, including specialist housing advice.

Over the coming months we will be travelling up and down the country talking to those working on the homelessness front line, to ensure ex-service personnel are signposted to the support they need. The fact that, despite promises made in the Armed Forces Covenant, there are still homeless veterans presenting themselves to local authorities for housing but not receiving the help that is available to them is unacceptable.

We are fortunate in this country that there is a wide range of independent and government-led organisations that provide specialist support to service leavers. But it is only by effectively identifying veterans and signposting them to these services, that we will put an end to this tragic situation. If we get this right, then we really do have a chance to end homelessness amongst our veterans.

Ed Tytherleigh is co-chair of the Cobseo (Confederation of Service Charities) Housing Cluster

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Part Time Community Rail Partnership Officer

Essex County Council
£24000 - £26275 per annum + Plus Excellent Benefits Package
Please note that this position is being offer on a part time basis, covering 23 hours per week. Working Pattern TBC. England, Essex, Rochford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Duty Officer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£19,554 - £21,166
The successful candidate will work across a rota pattern that includes regular evening and weekend working and will be responsible for... Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Business Support Officer - Learning and Early Support

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £21,166
Duties will include... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Plant and Motor Vehicle Technician - 3 jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£24,799 - £26,317
You will carry out vehicle inspections, servicing, maintenance and repairs to vehicles and plants operated by Kirklees Council in... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Early Help Projects' Coordinator

Brent Council
£33,291 - £35,724 p.a. inc.
An exciting opportunity to be an Early Help Projects' Co-ordinator. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how public sector organisations can unlock the hidden value in their land, and why a new approach to construction could help boost the outcomes of the Government’s One Public Estate programme.

The December issue also considers why learnings from ancient cities could provide the key to promoting wellbeing in the modern built environment. It also contains a case study on how the London Borough of Westminster has provided high quality care for the elderly alongside a block of luxury apartments.

Register for your free digital issue