The transition to civilian life is one which most Service leavers make successfully. Finding suitable accommodation is generally considered to be one of the indicators of a successful transition from military to civilian life, and an essential component in ‘putting down roots’. Access to stable housing is one of the key factors that influences transition outcomes. However, evidence on rates of home ownership shows that nearly half of all Service leavers have their housing arrangements ‘fully sorted’ at the point of transition to civilian life, and over 50% of Service leavers could be classified as ‘semi-sorted’ or ‘in need’ in relation to housing at that point . A relatively small proportion experience homelessness and related support issues.
Although there are mechanisms in place and support is available to help ensure housing needs are met appropriately, there is evidence that these are not always being leveraged as effectively as they could be.
While there have been a number of changes introduced by Government which aim to improve housing outcomes, there remains evidence of significant challenges in finding suitable accommodation among ex-Service personnel and their families.
We believe that no ex-Service person, or their family, should be disadvantaged in achieving appropriate housing outcomes. Our view, in line with the Armed Forces Covenant, is that special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given the most. Our vision is for all ex-Service personnel and their families to be able to access good quality, affordable, secure and sustainable accommodation solutions. This means being able to live in suitable, long term, and independent living accommodation in a geographical location of choice.
We believe that more should be done to better meet the housing needs of ex-Service personnel and their families, and to ensure that unmet need, manifest in homelessness, becomes a thing of the past. Therefore, working with others, we are using our evidence and knowledge base to ensure this happens.
Click here to download FiMT’s Housing Policy Statement.