North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood has called for the Welsh Government to do more to address the housing needs of veterans in Wales.
Speaking to colleagues in the Chamber on Wednesday (20th February), Mr Isherwood said housing is key to veterans and their families and emphasised the need for better integration by the Welsh Government of housing, health and care services for ex-services personnel.
During Darren Millar AM’s short debate – entitled ‘Are we meeting the housing needs of our veterans?’ – Isherwood said: “Yesterday (20th February), the UK Defence Secretary announced that service leavers and their families will now be able to access military accommodation for up to a year after leaving, giving them more time to look for permanent accommodation as they transition back to civilian life, because housing is key to veterans and their families.
“First Choice Housing Association, which led the way on this in Wales, delivered the ambitious self-build project for veterans in Wrexham, the third residence in North Wales to be managed by Alabare’s ‘Wales Home for Veterans’, taking the Charity’s provision across Wales for veterans adjusting to the civilian world to 57 [bed spaces].
“However, the Welsh Government’s Housing Referrals Pathway for veterans does not address the concerns of how Housing Officers themselves, who provide the necessary support and are able to manage the complex cases of re-homed veterans.
He added: “Better integration of housing, health and care services is therefore needed from the Welsh Government, and they must explain why there’s been a large reduction in the number of veteran’s households accepted by Local Authorities as being in priority housing need since the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 was introduced.”