Veterans not given enough housing advice, survey finds

Web armed forces soldier

Researchers found fewer than one in five had been given any advice while serving.

10th July 2017 by Gavin Stuart 3 Comments

Servicemen and woman are not being given enough advice about housing, a survey has revealed.

Researchers found fewer than one in five had been given any advice while they were serving, while just 37% were given support after leaving the forces.

The survey also found that the earlier advice was given, the more likely it was that it would have a positive effect on veterans looking for homes.

Housing Options Scotland (HOS), who conducted the research, said their findings show that preparing housing plans earlier is likely to lead to better outcomes.

We see too many veterans coming to HOS feeling lost and abandoned by society

Moira Bayne, HOS chief executive, said: “People serving in and veterans of the armed forces need to be told more about planning for their future housing needs.

”Resources should be better coordinated and tailored as there is some help available.

“We see too many veterans coming to HOS feeling lost and abandoned by society. They often have unrealistic expectations of the housing sector.

“They may not have saved and planned appropriately for their future housing needs while serving, and are therefore more vulnerable and at risk of homelessness.”

Researchers took responses from 166 adults aged between 25 and 74 for the survey, which was commissioned by The Scottish Government Veterans Fund.

Mark Strachan is one former serviceman who has seen first-hand how unsuitable housing can lead to stress and feelings of helplessness.

A TA soldier, Mark was severely injured in Iraq, leading to his medical discharge in 2004.

He returned to a rented bungalow in Dundee with wife Kellie and their three children, unable to work because of his injuries and PTSD.

The family was desperate to move to the Highlands, to be closer to family and friends, but could not see any way to make their dream a reality.

However, after contacting HOS they began to realise what options were available to them. Mark and Kellie have now completed a move to their own home, a terraced house in the village of Roybridge.

Mark said: “We are very much looking forward to our future now. We know we are going to be happy there.

“We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

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11th July 2017 by Martin Jones

In the case of single veterans they do not have the support of their own family because by definition they are single. And if living away from their paternal family/friends and the area they grew up in they are doubly prone to problems. Manchester is planning to build a home for single veterans. Plymouth was going to do this a few years ago?I think it is imperative that every city with a large catchment of single Veterans should have a purpose built residential building with support services. This will stem the high suicide rate we are now seeing in single veterans who are hidden from society and having to deal with their problems individually. The money should be made available as part of the Armed Forces Covenant commitment of the Government.

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