Reply to the housing petition...


....this just popped into my inbox....

18 May 2007

We received a petition asking:

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to change current housing legislation to stop the discrimination against service personnel when they retire from the armed forces."

Details of petition:

"Housing associations and the Government should review housing allocation policy in respect of establishing local connections to ensure that former members of the armed forces are not discriminated against when applying for housing. This in part would acknowledge the important contribution made by Her Majesty's Armed Forces in defending the United Kingdom's national interests; recognise their commitment and professionalism in the service of the country both at home and abroad and further recognises that following the end of their careers in the armed forces many servicemen and women and their families face considerable difficulties in securing housing appropriate to their needs as civilians."

with the answer....

The Government acknowledges the important contribution made by Her Majesty's Armed Forces in defending the United Kingdom's national interests and recognises their commitment and professionalism in the service of the country, both at home and abroad.

The Government is aware that there is widespread concern that the local connection provision in the housing legislation may be making it more difficult for service personnel and those leaving the armed forces to access social housing. The Secretary of State for Communities, Ruth Kelly, has launched a debate about the future role of social housing in England which, amongst other things, will be looking at issues around access to social housing. The issue of local connection for members of the armed forces will be considered as an important part of this work.

The Government is doing all we can to assist Service personnel into affordable home ownership during their career. We announced last year that Service personnel would have priority access to our New Build HomeBuy programme (previously known as shared ownership) alongside other key workers. This allows eligible individuals to buy a newly built home, paying a minimum 25 per cent of the price and a reduced rent on the remaining cost of the home. By allowing service personnel priority access to low cost home ownership while they are serving, we hope to be able to avert housing problems for them later on down the line in addition to addressing recruitment and retention issues in the Armed Forces.

The Ministry of Defence provides assistance and support in several ways to help personnel in their transition to civilian life. It has set up the Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO), which offers advice and guidance in sourcing accommodation, both while in Service and after leaving the Armed Forces.

Ruth Kelly to look after our interests? Be worried
Here already..........


But the fact that it will become an issue (one one would hope the Tories and Whigs will support) is a good beginning, the provision of social housing for people in 'mobile' service and away from their childhood neighbourhoods was obviously weighted the wrong way....
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