More support needed to prevent homelessness among veterans
More support needs to be given to veterans to ensure they can sustain their tenancies, a new report from the Veterans’ Scotland Housing Group has said.
It also called on local authorities to establish a lead officer for veterans within their housing departments to ensure special consideration is given to the needs of this group.
Ex-Service personnel should also be considered a priority group by social landlords, the report said.
The housing secretary, Shona Robison, welcomed the report and confirmed the government would review its findings.
The government commissioned the report as part of its Housing 2040 strategy in recognition of the specific issues faced by veterans.
Recent figures show around 800 homeless applications per year are from households with ex-Service personnel, while it is estimated up to a quarter of rough sleepers may be veterans.
The report makes 24 recommendations to the government, including the creation of a working group to deliver change.
Robison said: “We’re working to end homelessness in Scotland once and for all. We are also continually aware of the great sacrifices that veterans have made – they cannot be allowed to suffer any disadvantage as a result of their service.”
Other recommendations including reviewing MOD processes for Service leavers to identify those moving into unsuitable housing, more training for staff involved in homelessness prevention, ending the local connection requirement for homelessness applications from veterans, and improving data collection on equalities.
Kevin Gray, chair of the housing group, said: “Nobody should have to face homelessness and this report supports the overall aim of reducing and preventing homelessness for veterans in Scotland. It should be looked upon as a credible tool to support people who have served their country, moved on and require a settled home.”