To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what (a) assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on armed forces veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness and (b) steps his Department is taking to support armed forces veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
2 October 2020
The Government has taken a number of measures to identify and support veterans who are experiencing, or who are at risk of, homelessness. The Homelessness Reduction Act includes a statutory duty for members of the Armed Forces, who it is believed may be at risk of homelessness after discharge, to be referred to a local housing authority. The MOD, though Veterans UK, also provides a Defence Transition Service which offers those personnel who are known to be at risk of challenges, which may impact on making a successful transition back into civilian life, with enhanced support and a Veterans Welfare Service which provides support and assistance to veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Earlier this year King's College London was commissioned to undertake research on the impact of COVID-19 on veterans, the results of which will provide insight across a range of factors including housing and homelessness and other areas such as mental health and loneliness. Alongside this, the COVID-19 Impact fund has provided nearly £6m of support to over 100 Armed Forces charities including those working in the housing sector.