Birmingham leads in housing for ex-service personnel

By on 17/05/2011 in News

Birmingham City Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr John Lines, travelled to Westminster to brief Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, and Defence Minister, Andrew Robathan, about the council's pioneering work building new council homes for ex-armed forces personnel. 

The council was chosen to attend because of its leading work in this area and was the first local authority in the country to build family homes exclusively for ex-service personnel.  It also provides a dedicated service for ex-service veterans looking for a council home and recognises a priority award within its allocation policy.

The Housing Summit, part of a wider government strategy and discussion on a new military covenant, the principles of which will be made law and written into a new Armed Forces Bill. 

Cllr Lines took part in a round-table discussion of key issues affecting serving and ex-military men and women.

Cllr John Lines said: “Birmingham is leading the way in providing support to ex-service men and veterans, and I'm proud to be involved in this Summit to share our practices at national level. 

“The council is committed to helping those who have defended our country and recognise that long-term plans for accommodation are crucial for ex-armed forces personnel to make a smooth transition to civilian life.  To help facilitate this, we are working in partnership with others to create 12 new homes in South Birmingham, which are due for completion in 2012.”

On the agenda of the Westminster meeting, the council discussed areas including access to social housing, availability of land and planning framework and home ownership, shared equity and access to mortgages.  The council's advice will help to shape the government's future plans on ex-service veterans and housing issues.

Mortgage companies, councils, house builders and defence officials were all invited to London to discuss what further can be done to help servicemen and veterans to settle into life on civilian life after their service, or between tours of duty.

For more information contact Karen Blanchette on 0121 303 6969

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