Ex-service personnel get help to find council homes
- Credit: Contributed
The number of ex-service personnel found social housing in Ipswich has nearly trebled over the last three years.
The borough gives priority to ex-service personnel on waiting lists for council houses and homes provided by “Registered Providers” – mainly housing associations.
In 2013/14 there were 12 homes provided to new ex-service personnel under the scheme in the borough, while last year the number had gone up to 35. Over the last three years 65 homes have gone to ex-forces families and individuals.
Borough portfolio holder for housing Neil Macdonald said that ex-service people went to the top of their appropriate housing lists as part of the council’s commitment to helping them start a new civilian life.
He said: “This is a firm promise that we have made as part of our commitment to the Military Covenant which we signed a few years ago.
“We have shown our commitment in several ways, including naming a new development off Ulster Avenue after Aaron McClure (who died while serving in Afghanistan).
“I don’t known precisely why the numbers have gone up over recent years, but it could be linked to the fact that the number of service personnel is falling as more are leaving the full-time forces.”
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Mr Macdonald said good quality housing was vital for people leaving service life – some people returning to the civilian world suffer from serious mental problems.
“Anyone with mental health problems is regarded as a priority for housing anyway – but this helps to ensure ex-forces staff know they are near the top of the list.”
Ipswich Council has built a significant number of new council homes over recent years including a large estate off Bader Close.
More homes are to be built over the next few years – and there are expected to be a significant number of social housing units built as part of major housing developments like the Ipswich Garden Suburb on the northern fringe of the town.