Social housing for Veterans: the Veterans’ Nomination Scheme (VNS)
What is the VNS?
The VNS is an ideal opportunity for Veterans to rent stable, affordable accommodation with housing associations and local authorities. We arrange access to housing for Veterans who have been living in unsuitable accommodation. This includes people who are sleeping on a friend’s sofa, living in a hostel or are in supported housing. We can also help find accommodation for Service Leavers who are making the transition to civilian life. The VNS is aimed mainly at single people, and couples without children, who would not normally be able to get social housing.
The VNS is run by Stoll in partnership with The Royal British Legion. The Scheme has housed over 340 Veterans since it started as a pilot in 2009. We cover the whole of England and get new properties all the time. There are currently over 90 partner landlords and we have access to many one-bedroom flats and studios in England. We are occasionally offered properties for families, but the waiting list for these is very long.
How do I get referred?
We accept referrals from any organisation that works with Veterans, such as The Royal British Legion or SSAFA. The referrer will need to verify the Veteran’s service record and support needs. Please note that referrals can only come through another agency. You cannot refer yourself to the VNS.
The VNS is only suitable for Veterans who can live independently with very little support. Referrers will need to show that they will arrange for support for the Veteran, if they need it.
To refer someone, please complete the VNS referral form.
What happens next?
If we are happy with the referral, we forward the Veteran’s details to a housing provider. The housing provider will contact the referrer and the Veteran to arrange an interview and pre-tenancy checks. These will include ID, financial and other checks to assess suitability for their housing.
The landlord will let the Veteran “bid” for properties on the Choice Based Lettings system, or will offer them a property that is ready to let. If all goes well, the Veteran then signs the tenancy agreement and moves in shortly afterwards. The time on the waiting list varies according to area, but is typically 6 to 12 months. In areas of high demand, such as London, it is likely to be 12 months.
How do we get involved as a housing provider?
We would love to hear from you if you want to offer properties to the VNS. There are many benefits for housing providers:
- you will be taking part in a nationally recognised Scheme to house people who have served the country
- you will be contributing to the success of the Community Covenant in your area
- we only accept Veterans who can live independently with low support.
Please contact Julian Coates on 020 7381 8652 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Please make sure that those who could benefit from this service know about it by sharing the VNS information leaflet
“Stoll’s Veterans’ Nomination Scheme is an extremely worthwhile project enabling some our country’s most vulnerable Veterans to access social housing.” David Orr, Chief Executive, National Housing Federation.