'Ex-service personnel fast-tracked for council housing'

Armed forces veterans are being fast-tracked for council housing, according to some council leaders in England. LocalGov.co.uk reports that:

Many local authorities have reviewed housing allocation policy to ensure returning armed forces heroes are given priority when they apply for social housing.

Birmingham City Council is already building new homes especially for ex-service personnel, and Barnet LBC has amended its allocation policy for social housing, in favour of people with a service background.

Other benefits, such as gym membership and shopping-related discounts are also being offered to service personnel in certain areas of the country.

Several councils, such as Oldham MBC, have also started joint working with the Royal British Legion to increase support, which includes career advice, financial assistance and finding a home.

More than 10 northern local authorities, including Newcastle City Council, Durham CC and Northumbria CC have signed a pledge ensuring housing allocation gives special consideration to those in the armed forces.

Baroness Margaret Eaton, chair of the Local Government Association, said 'Councils recognise the difficulty faced by men, women and families who leave the armed forces and have to adapt to a completely new way of life.

'Local authorities will do absolutely everything they can to make that transition as smooth as possible, whether that be finding them a home, helping them into a job or letting them know what other support they are entitled to.'

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