Following the Chancellor’s announcement of £33m of funding for veterans in the Spring Budget, Tom McBarnet, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, made the following statement:
We welcome the Government’s announcements in today’s budget of funding for veterans’ housing, support for injured veterans and funding for the Office for Veterans’ Affairs. The funding for housing for veterans in particular signals a commitment to ending veterans’ homelessness which we know the Government has previously expressed. As funders of the #NoHomelessVeterans campaign, we are pleased to see that the issue is attracting deserved attention.
Whilst we welcome the plans to increase the availability of veteran housing, research on this subject has resulted in a series of recommendations such as better preparation for transition from the military to civilian life, more awareness of veterans and their families among housing organisations and local authorities to ensure they are not disadvantaged by their service, and better collaboration between housing providers. You can read more about this in our Policy Statement on Housing.
Research shows us that, as well as a need to improve support for veterans once they have left the Armed Forces, those who are still serving and their families must also be provided with appropriate support and advice throughout their careers in order to have a successful transition to civilian life. The factors which can lead to a veteran becoming homeless can be extremely complex, and we must work to ensure that all of these factors are addressed to be able to solve the problem once and for all. Today’s announcement is a clear sign that the Government is supporting veterans and making real steps to ensure we can end veterans’ homelessness. We hope to see other preventative measures and support being implemented to address these other contributory factors too.