Social housing 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 new proposals. New measures could help councils ensure that members of the Armed Forces and Veterans suffering from mental ill health are given priority for social housing. Divorced partners of Armed Forces personnel will also benefit for the first time.
Former Service personnel suffering from PTSD or other mental illnesses will be prioritised for social housing under proposals published for consultation by Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP.
The measures (publicised on 9 January) will also help those 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 that all applicants for social housing will be asked at the outset of the process if they have served in the Forces, 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.
Since 2012, current and former Service personnel have not had to be ‘resident’ in an area to get access to a social home for their families, as part of the commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant.
Says James Brokenshire: ‘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.’
An eight-week consultation period on the new rules is currently under way. Under the proposals, those with PTSD and other mental illnesses could be treated in the same way as those with physical injuries, and get the priority they deserve.