Greater Manchester Housing Providers (GMHP) call for fundamental rethink on housing access for our Armed Forces

First Published: 03/04/2019

The consultation set out proposals for the introduction of new statutory guidance for local authorities to assist how Armed Forces, Veterans and their families gain access to social housing.

As a group GMHP are committed to providing better support for individuals and their families transitioning from service into civilian life. They have welcomed the proposals outlined in the consultation and feel they are consistent with their drive to provide coherence and consistency to service delivery.

Over the past seven years Greater Manchester has lost around 15,000 of its rented home stock. With an increase in the unregulated private rented sector, a considerable flow of sometimes vulnerable people has been absorbed into a market that is unable to provide the right support and access to additional services.

With more than 97,000 households currently waiting for a council or social home and close to a third of these have been identified as a priority category, the partnership has highlighted the need for further investment in social housing is required to prevent expensive intervention later down the line

The group also called for consideration to be given to expanding the 56 day period outlined in the Homelessness Reduction Act for Armed Forces families or using statutory guidance to encourage local authorities to do this.

Yvonne Castle, CEO at Johnnie Johnson Housing and Chair of the GMHP Armed Forces workstream said, “I am really proud that JJH leads the way for the Greater Manchester Housing Providers group on the armed forces strategy. Our steering group has been working for 18 months, with representation from 26 housing providers and also local authorities, the GM Combined Authority, and support agencies like Walking with the Wounded. Together we signed the GMHP Armed Forces Covenant so that we are all committed to supporting the armed services community.

“Resolving how the Armed Forces community accesses housing is a must, as is understanding that they are often faced with a long distance moves and face disadvantage from the costs associated with this.

“If we can help people with getting into housing then that supports them with jobs, a better quality of life, better health – all of those things are linked. There’s a lot of pressure when people leave the forces which can affect the whole family, and we want to support the whole family.”