Support for Veterans and the Armed Forces community: report 2017

This document sets out the work that is being done to respond to the recommendations made in the Scottish Veterans Commissioner’s first three reports.

4. Housing

The Scottish Government continues to work towards the vision that all people in Scotland live in high quality, sustainable and affordable homes which meet their needs.

In 2015 the Veterans Commissioner produced reports on Transition in Scotland and Provision of Information on Housing for Service Leavers and Veterans in Scotland. The recommendations for the Scottish Government regarding housing issues have been considered, with changes being made to ensure that information about housing options are easy to access and understand. These improvements build on changes already made to legislation through the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010; to make it easier for former Service personnel to establish a local connection when seeking homelessness assistance. In Scotland, numbers of homelessness applications overall have fallen steadily over the past five years, including from those declared as a former member of the Armed Forces.

4.1 Access to Housing Advice

The Scottish Veterans Commissioner highlighted the issues experienced by some veterans who struggled to find out about the housing options available to them and their families. As a result, the Scottish Government:

  • has launched a Veterans Portal on with a dedicated housing section clearly setting out housing options and how veterans can gain access to more tailored advice [12] . Links have been created on other veterans websites such as the Armed Forces Covenant Website [13] and the Veterans Gateway [14] to help sign-post individuals quickly to the information they require. A link will also be added to the Ministry of Defence Service Leavers Guide at the next update.
  • is revising the practice guidance on social housing allocations. The guidance, which will be re-launched in 2018, will provide advice on meeting the needs of Service Leavers and veterans, including advice on local connection.
  • is revising the Scottish Guide for People Leaving the Armed Forces and Ex-Service Personnel which is aimed at Service Leavers and veterans. The revised guide will reflect the Scottish Veterans Commissioner's recommendation on visual impact and accessibility and will be issued in early 2018.
  • is continuing to ensure that the Joint Services Housing Advice Office ( JSHAO) and other relevant organisations are kept updated on housing options in Scotland.

The Scottish Government also increased grant funding to Housing Options Scotland in 2017/18. Housing Options Scotland's Military Matters project focuses on housing issues affecting people serving in the Armed Forces in Scotland, Service personnel transitioning into civilian life and veterans.

4.2 Additional Housing Support

With support from Scottish Government of £2.59 million, the Scottish Veterans Housing Association delivered 51 homes in Cranhill, Glasgow in September 2014. Twenty one of these homes are let at affordable rental levels to former members of the Armed Forces and their families, with the remaining 30 flats being available as temporary accommodation for veterans in need of dedicated support.

In 2013, £1.3 million of Scottish Government support was awarded to the Scottish Veterans Garden City Association ( SVGCA) to help build 38 homes for physically and psychologically disabled ex-Service personnel. Twenty five homes are now complete and SVGCA is working to secure other development opportunities across the country for the remaining 13 homes.

Priority access to the Open Market Shared Equity Scheme ( OMSE) and the New Supply Shared Equity Scheme ( NSSE) is provided to both serving members of the Armed Forces and veterans who left the Armed Forces within the past two years. It is also open to widows, widowers and other partners of Service personnel for up to two years following the death of their partner during service.

Available data shows that in 2016/17, 82% of applications received from known members of the Armed Forces community successfully led to properties being secured through the OMSE scheme. This figure compares favourably to the rest of the population in Scotland; which saw a 48% success rate for the same time period.


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