10 Jan 2019

Social houses to be prioritised for former service personnel with PTSD

Former service personnel suffering from PTSD or other mental illnesses will be prioritised for social housing under proposals published for consultation by Communities Secretary, James Brokenshire.

The measures will also help people who divorce or separate from their partners in the Armed Forces by exempting them from rules requiring them to be a local resident before being given a property.

While the majority of military personnel transition successfully into civilian life, an overhaul of the system will also mean all applicants for social housing will be asked if they have served in the Forces at the outset of the process to ensure veterans get the help they are entitled to.

Council staff will also get extra training so they can give current and former Armed Forces personnel the housing support they need.

Under the proposals, those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental illnesses could be treated in the same way as those with physical injuries.

People who split from their partner in the Forces are made to move out of military accommodation and can be denied social housing because they have “not been resident in the area for long enough”.

They may not be willing or able to settle in the district where their military spouse or partner is stationed, particularly if they have been the victim of domestic abuse.

Some councils already support people in this situation but government is consulting on publishing new guidance which will encourage councils to waive the residency rules.

Mr Brokenshire said: “We have a duty to ensure our heroic military personnel get the support they need when applying for a social home.

“We want to see that applying for social property should not be a challenge in the transition from military service to civilian life.

“These new measures are part of our continuing commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant.”

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