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York Leads Report on Housing for Vulnerable Veterans

Uni of York 300414

9:45am 7th November 2014

The report, Meeting the Housing and Support Needs of Single Veterans in Great Britain, was compiled by Dr Anwen Jones at the University’s Centre for Housing Policy, on behalf of Stoll and Riverside.

Funded by Forces in Mind Trust, the first phase investigated the provision and demand for housing services in England, Scotland and Wales through a range of surveys and interviews with providers, service users and over 100 local authorities.

Highlighting the need for the MOD and veterans’ service providers to work together, the report calls for more effective collaboration between all those working with veterans in order to intervene early to identify the most vulnerable and better meet their housing and support needs.

Outlining a set of recommendations for central and local government, the not-for-profit and the commercial sectors to meet support challenges, the report makes four suggestions:

  • To develop housing strategies for veterans led by the UK government in collaboration with key housing and veteran agencies, supported by a clear framework for the commissioning and funding of specialist housing and support services.
  • To improve transition planning for all Service leavers to maximise their ability to achieve and maintain sustainable housing after Service, identifying those Service leavers who are known to be vulnerable.
  • To ensure that strategies support the development of coordinated services to meet the accommodation and housing related needs of veterans, with a particular emphasis on preventative services linked to improved transition.
  • To improve the evidence base on the long-term housing pathways of veterans.

While research into housing opportunities for ex-Service personnel has been conducted before, until now there has been very limited definitive data portraying what else needs to be done to assist Servicemen and women leaving the Armed Forces with their housing requirements.

Dr Jones, Research Fellow at the Centre for Housing Policy and leader of the project, said:

“This is a largely under-researched area and this study is the first to investigate the current and perceived future level and nature of demand from single veterans across Great Britain. It is hoped that the research evidence will guide and support policy makers and organisations planning and delivering services to veterans in coming years.”

Hugh Owen, Director of Policy and Communication at Riverside, added: 

“This report is a real eye opener. Whilst Riverside and Stoll already provide a range of fantastic services supporting single veterans who are at risk of becoming homeless, the national approach has been disjointed and there are huge gaps in local knowledge. We all need  to develop a more joined-up and strategic approach which links advice for those leaving the armed forces with services  that ensure fewer veterans slip through the net and into homelessness.”

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