William Eichler 25 August 2020

‘Some way to go’ to ensure ex-service personnel have access to housing, trust says

‘Some way to go’ to ensure ex-service personnel have access to housing, trust says  image

A trust dedicated to ensuring ex-service personnel and their families can transition back into society has published a series of policy proposals aimed at providing service leavers with affordable housing.

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has called for earlier identification of vulnerable service personnel by the Ministry of Defence to ensure preventative support is provided and the risk of unsuccessful or difficult transition is minimised.

FiMT also called for better information on vacating Service Family Accommodation (SFA). They argued that providing clearer information on leaving SFA would support better planning for the move to civilian housing.

They also called for more focus on equipping ex-service personnel and their families with the necessary knowledge, skills and awareness of the civilian housing and rental market, and the financial planning and personal budgeting required to achieve a sustainable accommodation solution.

The trust also said there needed to be increased awareness of the impact of transition on the service community among housing support providers and an improved understanding across all housing providers of the housing support needs of ex-service personnel.

Ray Lock, chief executive of Forces in Mind Trust, commented: ‘From our previous work and research we know how critical it is for service leavers and their families to secure suitable civilian housing. It is one of the key components in making a successful transition from the armed forces to civilian life.

‘While great progress has been made, we know there is still some way to go. We need to ensure that there is a more coordinated approach between the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Ministry of Defence, the Office for Veterans’ Affairs and the devolved administrations in order to ensure a unified approach to housing policy development and implementation for the ex-Service community.

‘Our #NoHomelessVeterans campaign showed that individual local authorities are willing to implement our more practical proposals, and we hope that policy makers will adopt a similar collaborative approach.’

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