The government has opened a consultation process on improving access to social housing for members of the Armed Forces community.
The result of discussions between the MOD’s Armed Force Covenant team, officials from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and other interested parties, the consultation outlines proposals for new statutory guidance for local authorities to help members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families, to gain access to social housing.
It is aimed primarily at local authorities, as well as members of the Armed Forces and Veterans and their respective spouses and partners, although other social housing providers and voluntary and community organisations representing tenants and members of the Armed Forces are also expected to have an interest.
Among the proposals are that newly-issued guidance would:
- Bring together, update, and build on the existing statutory allocations guidance in relation to members of the Armed Forces issued in 2012 and 2013.
- Make clear that local authorities are expected to disapply any local connection requirements from divorced or separated spouses or civil partners of Service personnel who are required to move out of accommodation provided by the MOD.
- Set out how local authorities can ensure that members of the Armed Forces and Veterans suffering from mental ill health are given appropriate priority for social housing.
- Set out how local authorities can identify applications from members of the Armed Forces and Veterans to ensure that they are considered appropriately.
These proposals relate to England only.
or by emailing AllocationGuidance@communities.gov.uk
The consultation runs until March 8, and the views of individuals as well as groups are welcomed.
The Armed Force Covenant, created by the Armed Forces Act 2011, is a promise from the nation to those who serve in the Armed Forces, whether Regular or Reserve, and those who have served in the past, and their families.
It states that they should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public services, and recognises that special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have the given most such as the injured and bereaved.