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Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government regarding housing for veterans; and what plans he has to improve access to housing for (a) single veterans and (b) veterans with families. (84830)

There have been no recent discussions with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government about housing for veterans. However, frequent contact is maintained between officials from the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Communities and Local Government regarding veterans housing matters. Our main focus is on improving access to housing for Service personnel while they are still serving or are at the point of leaving the Service. This applies to both single Service personnel and those with families, and is intended to facilitate a smooth transition to civilian life. Measures already in place to assist all personnel leaving the Services include the provision of comprehensive information and advice on housing options and the MOD Nominations Scheme, which facilitates access for Service leavers to housing with 43 registered social landlords and councils across the UK. In recognition of their specific needs, the Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex-Services provides an advice and placement service for single Service leavers.

Through the Veterans Agency helpline and website, liaison with the ex-Service charities and other agencies, and various communications initiatives, we aim to increase awareness among veterans of the support available and improve access to help on housing and other matters. We also support a number of initiatives to prevent and tackle homelessness among existing veterans.