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New government measures to ensure access to social housing is improved for members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families have been announced this Armed Forces Day (27 June 2020) by Housing Minister Christopher Pincher.
The government has today set out how councils should ensure members of the Armed Forces and veterans who need support with their mental health, because of conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, are given the priority for social housing they deserve.
New measures also mean former spouses or civil partners of serving personnel will be given extra support when applying for social housing. They will be exempted from rules requiring them to be a local resident before being given social housing in the area to ensure they are not disadvantaged when applying.
Guidance has been issued to councils to encourage staff-training so they understand the circumstances of the Armed Forces community and consider their housing needs appropriately. This will also promote a consistent approach across councils in how they consider social housing applications.
Housing Minister Christopher Pincher said: “The health and wellbeing of our Armed Forces, whether they are Regulars, Reservists or veterans, is a priority for this government.
“I want to ensure serving and former members of the Armed Forces who suffer from mental ill health are given the priority for social housing they deserve, together with appropriate care and support.
“There can be no better time than this Armed Forces Day, after such a challenging time, to celebrate the skill, tenacity and professionalism of our Armed Forces. Their contribution has been extraordinary and we are all grateful for their efforts.”
Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said: “This new guidance is the Armed Forces Covenant in action – government ensuring that the whole armed forces family can more easily access public services.
“The unique circumstances of veterans and service families will now more readily be taken into account when allocating housing and I’m proud that we’re announcing these measures on Armed Forces Day.”
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