Local authorities should ‘consistently check’ if someone seeking housing support is a veteran and provide them with plans that respond to their needs, charity says.
New research has revealed over 1,000 vulnerable former servicemen and women need urgent support to find accommodation each year, with some ‘slipping through the net’ and ending up homeless.
Commissioned by veterans’ housing charity Stoll and social housing provider Riverside, the research found veterans experienced a varied quality of advice and inconsistent support from Local Housing Authorities (LHA) once they left the military.
Many LHAs, the report said, did not even identify the specialist support available to veterans.
The report, which was written by the University of York and funded by the Forces in Mind Trust, calls on councils to do more to help identify veterans. But it also calls on Whitehall to contribute.
The Government, it said, should work with the sector to improve the transition process to prevent any serving personnel becoming homeless after service. It should also ensure supported housing for veterans is properly resourced.
‘We believe that we can reduce the incidence of homelessness among veterans close to zero, but this will only happen with a significant shift in approach to the issue of housing ex-Service personnel,’ said Ed Tytherleigh, chief executive of Stoll.
‘We are deeply concerned that vulnerable veterans, often with complex physical and mental health needs, are not being properly cared for by the country they have served.
‘It is critical that veterans facing homelessness – or those supporting them – know where to turn to at the right time and get the correct advice to prevent them from becoming homeless in the first place.’