Recommendations from Housing for Service Leavers & Veterans in Scotland, 2016

Key

  • Not implemented
  • Partially implemented
  • Implemented but work should continue to embed
  • Fully implemented
  • Superseded
 Recommendation20192020
1

MOD advice and briefings relevant to Scotland

The Scottish Government should continue to work with the UK Government to ensure that online advice and briefings reflect housing policy and provision in Scotland, so that Service Leavers choosing to settle in Scotland are not disadvantaged.

(This recommendation was pulled through from Recommendation 1 in the 2015 Transition Report.)

Scottish Government update, 2019

Work has been undertaken with the Ministry of Defence to provide housing information from a Scottish perspective for inclusion in advice, briefings and guidance to ensure Service Leavers in Scotland are not disadvantaged.

Scottish Government update, 2020

We have provided housing information from a Scottish perspective for inclusion in advice, briefings and guidance published by the MOD (see links below). We will continue to provide updates to publications and share information as and when required in order to ensure Service Leavers choosing to settle in Scotland are not disadvantaged.

Housing in Scotland (updated April 2020)

Social Housing Guidance (updated April 2020)

2

Proving a “local connection”

The requirement to prove a “local connection” needs far better explanation in MOD, Scottish Government and Local Authority publications, including leaflets and websites, targeted at housing providers, veterans and Service personnel.

Scottish Government update, 2019

As part of the wider revision of the Scottish Government website, a veteran support area has been created on mygov.scot, which clearly sets out housing options and on how veterans can gain access to more tailored advice. Links have been created on other veterans’ websites to help sign-post individuals quickly to the information they require. ‘Social Housing Allocations in Scotland – A Practice Guide’ was published in February 2019. It contains practice advice to social landlords on allocations for veterans and Service leavers including guidance on ensuring that local connection does not put service personnel at a disadvantage when applying for social housing.

Scottish Government update, 2020

Work has continued throughout 2020 and recommendation has now been assessed as fully met.

3

Routes into social housing

If Scotland is to become the destination of choice for Service Leavers, then the Scottish Government and housing providers should give consideration to smoothing their route into social housing. Particular attention should be given to and removing any potential disadvantage caused by a lack of “local connection” brought about by military Service, both for those serving in Scotland and elsewhere.

Scottish Government update, 2019

As part of the wider revision of the Scottish Government website, a veteran support area has been created on mygov.scot, which clearly sets out housing options and on how veterans can gain access to more tailored advice. Links have been created on other veterans’ websites to help sign-post individuals quickly to the information they require. ‘Social Housing Allocations in Scotland – A Practice Guide’ was published in February 2019. It contains practice advice to social landlords on allocations for veterans and Service leavers including guidance on ensuring that local connection does not put service personnel at a disadvantage when applying for social housing.

Scottish Government update, 2020

Work has continued throughout 2020 and recommendation has now been assessed as fully met.

4

Scottish Housing Guide for People Leaving the Armed Forces

The Scottish Government should consider wider distribution of the Scottish Housing Guide for People Leaving the Armed Forces and work with MOD, public sector organisations and charities in Scotland to raise its profile, ensuring it appears on all Scottish Local Authority websites and on relevant UK Government websites.

Scottish Government update, 2019

A Scottish Housing Guide for People Leaving the Armed Forces & Ex-Service Personnel has been redesigned to meet the Commissioner’s recommendations. It was published in 2018 and is available on the Scottish Government website. The Scottish Government has also made other organisations such as charities, Scottish Local Authorities and the UK Government aware of the revised booklet in order to raise its profile.

Scottish Government update, 2020

Work has continued throughout 2020 and recommendation has now been assessed as fully met.

5

Review and Improve Housing Guide

The Scottish Government should review its Scottish Housing Guide for People Leaving the Armed Forces with the aim of improving content, visual impact and accessibility.

Scottish Government update, 2019

A Scottish Housing Guide for People Leaving the Armed Forces & Ex-Service Personnel has been redesigned to meet the Commissioner’s recommendations. It was published in 2018 and is available on the Scottish Government website. The Scottish Government has also made other organisations such as charities, Scottish Local Authorities and the UK Government aware of the revised booklet in order to raise its profile.

Scottish Government update, 2020

Work has continued throughout 2020 and recommendation has now been assessed as fully met.

6

Review Scottish Government Website Housing Information

The Scottish Government should review the information provided on its website relating to housing targeted at Service Leavers, veterans and their families in order to improve accessibility and currency.

Scottish Government update, 2019

A Veteran support area has been created on mygov.scot setting out housing options for Service Leavers.

Scottish Government update, 2020

Work has continued throughout 2020 and recommendation has now been assessed as fully met.

7

Consolidation Scottish Government information for veterans

The Scottish Government should consider placing all information for veterans and Service Leavers (not just information on housing) in one area like the mygov.scot website.

Scottish Government update, 2019

A Veteran support area has been created on mygov.scot setting out housing options for Service Leavers.

Scottish Government update, 2020

Work has continued throughout 2020 and recommendation has now been assessed as fully met.

8

Improve Local Authority website housing information

All Scottish Local Authorities should consider offering housing information for Service Leavers, veterans and their families on their websites with direct links from Housing home pages to improve accessibility.

Notes

Now being pursued through the new outcomes-focused recommendations from 2021 Positive Futures Housing report.

9

Provide guidance for frontline Local Authority staff

Local Authorities should consider providing additional guidance to their frontline staff on the principles of the Covenant and the council’s policy on housing support for veterans.

Notes

Now being pursued through the new outcomes-focused recommendations from 2021 Positive Futures Housing report.

10

Improve links between Local Authorities and MOD

The Scottish Government should work with Local Authorities and MOD to improve information-sharing in order that those leaving the Services are aware of the opportunities available in Scotland and Local Authorities are given advance notice of those expressing a wish to live in their area (also recommended in Transition in Scotland report).

Notes

Now being pursued through the new outcomes-focused recommendations from 2021 Positive Futures Housing report.

11

Consider promoting Shelter Scotland and ASAP Citizens Advice Scotland Websites

The Scottish Government and other housing information providers should consider taking a lead from Shelter Scotland and ASAP Citizens Advice Scotland when looking to upgrade their websites and generate a more extensive online presence, and should consider promoting these organisations’ websites more extensively.

Scottish Government update, 2019

The Scottish Government has created a veterans support area on mygov.scot which clearly sets out housing options and how veterans can get tailored advice. Links have been created on other veterans websites to help signpost individuals to advice quickly.

Scottish Government update, 2020

Work has continued throughout 2020 and recommendation has now been assessed as fully met.

12

Ensure housing information is available to a wider audience

The Scottish Government and Veterans Scotland should work together with partners, including the UK Government and other parts of the Third sector, to ensure that housing information is easily visible on the Veterans UK and other pan-UK websites in order to reach a wider audience.

Scottish Government update, 2019

Veterans UK is not the appropriate website for this. Housing information appropriate to Scotland is available on the Veterans Gateway.

Scottish Government update, 2020

Work has continued throughout 2020 and recommendation has now been assessed as fully met.

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A showcase of artwork by #veterans is set to open at The Scottish Submarine Centre in Helensburgh. Inspired by experiences of war and life after service, the exhibition aims to highlight the positive impact of art on mental health and wellbeing.

Learn more at https://www.submarinecentre.org/
A showcase of artwork by #veterans is set to open at The Scottish Submarine Centre in Helensburgh. Inspired by experiences of war and life after service, the exhibition aims to highlight the positive impact of art on mental health and wellbeing. Learn more at https://www.submarinecentre.org/
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