WILTSHIRE: Urgent housing provided to over 50 veterans

WILTSHIRE: Urgent housing provided to over 50 veterans

Published by Jack Deery at 12:33pm 14th February 2020.

2 minute read

New figures have revealed the number of homeless armed forces personnel Wiltshire Council helped last year.

In 2019, Wiltshire Council let properties to 53 veterans who were in desperate need of housing. 

All of them were assessed as needing a "prevention or relief duty", meaning the council had to sort something as they were already homeless or could have been within 56 days

Nationally there were 921 veterans that were let a property, meaning Wiltshire made up nearly 6% of the total number. 

Veterans Outreach Mobile Van
Wiltshire Council have been running a Veterans Outreach mobile service to help support armed forces personnel across the county

PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT

Housing laws state that local authorities must give preference to homeless applicants, especially if they have served their country. 

But the 'No Homeless Veterans' campaign says that more than 3,000 of them could be going unreported and unsupported each year. 

Almost all local authorities across England have signed up for the Armed Forces Covenant, which highlights their commitment to verterans. 

Brigadier James Richardson said the "nuts and bolts" of the agreement had not filtered down to how councils apply it.

He added: 

"We want local authorities to have a better understanding of the AFC so that all staff know what it is and what their responsibilities are. We think that's missing in some areas.

A lot of local authorities don't even ask if someone is a veteran. Therefore it's very hard to deliver the AFC requirements when they don’t even ask the basic questions."

In March 2019, the Government announced an additional £1 million in funding to help develop new services, or help council's access to supported housing and mental health provision.

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