National Housing Federation Conference: Ed Tytherleigh blog
Ed Tytherleigh will be speaking at the conference on Thursday 22nd September at 12.15pm at a sub-plenary session on Veterans housing.
Many Servicemen and women receive military accommodation while they are in the Armed Forces and do not have a civilian home of their own. That is precisely why the social housing sector becomes so vital for many Veterans when they leave the Armed Forces. I am delighted that the NHF is embracing the Veterans’ sector and I am looking forward to discussing the work Stoll is doing in my session at the conference.
I’ll definitely be mentioning the new Veterans’ Housing Advice Office. This new scheme will be a one-stop-shop for Veterans on all things housing. There’s no shortage of housing information available – but we need to end the fragmented service that too many Veterans experience today. That’s why we at Stoll and 18 Veterans’ organisations have managed to get MoD funding for this new service to prevent homelessness and meet Veterans’ housing and support needs. To be effective, we will need to pool information from local authorities, homelessness charities, housing associations and Veterans’ organisations. The scheme will improve transition planning for all Service leavers – maximising people’s chances of finding appropriate housing and helping ensure a successful transition into civilian life.
I’ll also be talking about the risk of unintended consequences. We are fortunate that Veterans’ needs are a priority for the current Government, but the plans revealed in last year’s Autumn Statement to cap Local Housing Allowance will undermine a lot of that good work and make it untenable for some Veterans housing providers to continue, thereby increasing homelessness and poverty within the Veterans community. In the Veterans’ sector alone we would lose 269 supported homes if the Government went ahead with its intended cap. Has the cap just been postponed or will it still affect us in the future?
There is also something you can all do to help Veterans, even if you don’t work in our niche sector. We run the very successful Veterans’ Nomination Scheme, a brokerage scheme whereby Housing Associations and other social landlords ringfence beds for vetted, low support Veterans in urgent need of a home. If you work for a housing association or a local authority – perhaps you can assign a couple of properties to us to help make sure the people that have served their country have a decent home when they come out of the Armed Forces? If you are interested, then please call us on 020 7381 8652.
Finally, I’ll be celebrating. Stoll is a 100 years old – we have been providing Veterans with a home and support since 1916 – and we have just announced a commitment to build another 100 homes for vulnerable Veterans. I look forward to seeing you at this year’s conference.