Stoll has challenged councils to reinforce MHCLG’s £1m for veterans facing homelessness with “greater consistency” in the level of local housing support.
The provider also sees scope for MHCLG working closely with the MoD to create a Housing Transition Pathway to ensure every single Service leaver, whatever their circumstances, is asked about their housing options after Service – with those identified of being at risk of homelessness offered bespoke advice.
“If some practical measures are implemented to support Service Leavers before they leave the Armed Forces, the work of councils will be made significantly easier,” said Ed Tytherleigh, Stoll’s chief executive.
“Veterans need a far greater level of consistency from councils – regardless of which council they approach.
“I hope the limited new funding will mean that all councils can deliver a consistent service to the standard of the best,” he said.
Stoll and Cobseo’s Housing Cluster have been calling for government action in this area, having set out a related Call To Action last year.
Tytherleigh says there’s also a need to address the significant shortage of supported housing for veterans.
“Supported housing for veterans should be put on a sustainable financial footing once and for all. Veterans are the only supported housing sector in the UK where the majority of support costs are paid for by the charities themselves.
“This is not sustainable and threatens to undermine our country’s ability to support vulnerable veterans,” he said.
Given the unusual nature of demand, which is often associated with veterans who originate from outside the area where they are seeking accommodation, Stoll makes a case for revenue costs for support services to be funded nationally – through a fund established by MHCLG.
“If funding continues to be allocated locally, clear planning should be put in place by councils within the framework for supported housing funding.
“This framework should specifically require Local Authorities to consider the needs of veterans, as they map demand and create supported housing strategies,” he said.