Stoll, the leading provider of housing and support for Veterans, is setting out the need for a more strategic approach to Veterans’ housing…

The charity, which provides 250 homes to vulnerable and disabled Veterans, works in partnership with 18 other organisations to prevent homelessness and ensure the needs of Servicemen and women leaving Her Majesty’s Armed Forces are met.

Ed Tytherleigh, Stoll’s CEO, speaking at the National Housing Federation conference, said: “We must be far more strategic about Veterans’ housing needs. We need the Ministry of Defence to work with us to ensure the most vulnerable Service leavers, including those who leave the Armed Forces early, get the support they need. We need to work alongside Local Authorities, Housing Associations and homelessness charities to adopt a preventative approach to help people avoid being homeless or ending up in inappropriate housing."

Ed Tytherleigh continued: “There is plenty of information about social housing for Veterans but Service leavers currently have to approach several organisations to know what is available. So I welcome the fact that the Ministry of Defence is supporting Stoll and other Veterans’ charities to set up the new Veterans’ Housing Advice Office which will help people get accurate information and end the fragmented service that exists today. I look forward to the scheme starting in 2017 as it will help those in transition and help prevent homelessness.

"It will maximise people’s chances of finding appropriate housing and help ensure a successful transition into civilian life. The Housing Advice Office will pool several organisations’ information and expertise – a sign of real strength that as a sector we want to work together and are determined to end the current fragmentation to help more Veterans lead independent lives.”

Many Servicemen and women receive military accommodation while they are in the Armed Forces and do not have a civilian home of their own. Therefore the provision of appropriate advice is vital for many people when they leave the Armed Forces. The Veterans’ Housing Advice Office will use information from local authorities, homelessness charities, housing associations as well as the Veterans’ sector.

Veteran, Nicola Stokes, said: “When I needed a new home I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I was struggling with PTSD. I contacted a couple of organisations and someone suggested I should attend Stoll’s monthly Drop In. It took a lot of courage for me to go but there were housing experts at the Drop In who said they could help. And they did – within a couple of weeks Stoll had found me a flat in west London. I was one of the lucky ones.

"Given that housing issues can take a long time, it’s important that Servicemen and women can apply for help before they leave the armed forces. That could save lots of time and unnecessary heartache.”