Earlier planning and better coordination required to tackle the armed forces’ housing challenges, new research says.
Housing Options Scotland (HOS), a Scottish Charity providing housing information and guidance to disabled people, seniors and veterans, has today published the results of a research highlighting the housing advice, information and support pathways experienced by the armed forces community. This unique piece of research was commissioned by The Scottish Government Veterans Fund, with the objective of providing robust learnings from those at different stages in the armed forces.
HOS initially looked at survey responses from 116 adults aged between 25 and 74, with the largest group of respondents being men (87%) who had served or were still serving in the Army (71%).
The results showed that a large majority of participants did not receive any housing advice or support while serving (81%), while in transition (68%), or after leaving the forces (63%). Interestingly, of those who received advice, positive feedback was higher for those who had received support while serving (62%) or in transition (70%) compared to those who had already left the armed forces (38%). This finding clearly demonstrates that the earlier a housing plan is prepared, the better the outcome for those concerned.
Following the initial survey carried out in December 2016, HOS also conducted a focus group in March 2017 where 14 people were interviewed in more depth about their experiences. The study indicated that more education is needed for those serving in the armed forces and veterans, to help them plan for their future housing needs. The study also revealed that more should be done to share best practice in housing information, advice and support, between organisations, military, civilian, statutory and charitable. It was also noted that services need to be tailored to suit individuals and their families, as this is a distinct group with unique life experiences.
This research will be a useful tool for everyone working in the armed forces community and the housing sector. Moira Bayne, CEO of Housing Options Scotland, says: “People serving in and veterans of the armed forces need to be told more about planning for their future housing needs.” Resources should be better coordinated and tailored as there is some help available. Moira adds: “We see too many veterans coming to HOS feeling lost and abandoned by society. They often have unrealistic expectations of the housing sector. They may not have saved and planned appropriately for their future housing needs while serving, and are therefore more vulnerable and at risk of homelessness.”
Contact for more information and case study:
If you would like to discuss the press release or receive more information about the research, please do not hesitate to contact us. We also have a couple of clients willing to speak publicly about their experience. A case study is ready to be used. Please let us know if you are interested.
- Moira Bayne
CEO, Housing Options Scotland
About Housing Options Scotland
Helping Disabled People, Veterans & Older People To Find the Right House, in the Right Place.
Housing Options Scotland was established in 1997 to provide a unique public access service to all disabled people throughout Scotland. Their main aim is to ensure that disabled people, veterans and older people can access the right home for them. They advise on social renting, private renting, and home ownership.
Housing Options Scotland has three main areas of activity:
- They assist disabled people, veterans and older people by advising them on, and supporting them through, the complex design, financial and legal processes involved in buying or renting a property;
- They provide information, advice and training on housing and disability issues to the public, private and voluntary sectors;
- They raise awareness of the problems their clients face in relation to their housing, and highlight the solutions and opportunities that exist.
Their dedicated team of volunteers are ex clients who have wanted to give something back to the organisation. They also use the knowledge they gain by helping their clients to effect changes in policies and practice.