If they have a link with the borough
The council is to give armed forces families in need of a roof over their heads higher priority when it comes to the allocation of publicly owned housing in the borough.
Soldiers, sailors and air force personnel who have a link with the borough and find themselves in housing need, will now have enhanced application rights when they apply for a new home.
As well as being awarded higher priority in the allocation of social housing that’s available to rent, servicemen and women will also be given additional help and support in finding and buying an affordable home under any of the borough’s various “right to buy” type schemes.
These new rules will provide better housing choices for households who are still serving their country, and also for those families who have just left the services and need extra support in securing suitable high quality accommodation as they make the adjustment to civilian life.
The council will ring-fence at least 15 homes for rent by armed forces personnel this year. The council also expects to help around 250 local families buy their own home this year. Servicemen and women who express an interest in home ownership will be given greater eligibility in the purchase of these affordable homes.
Cabinet member for housing Cllr Paul Ellis said: “We are determined to do all we can to assist the families of those who serve their country. Many are risking their lives on our behalf and so it is only right and proper that we do as much as we can to support them when they need our help.
“This is especially true when people leave the armed forces. The move to civvy street can be a difficult and challenging time and if we can help smooth that process by making sure their housing needs are properly met, then that will be just one small way that we can repay them.
“This new policy will have two central planks. For people who want to rent we have set aside a quota of 15 properties that will be available solely for armed forces personnel who have a link with the borough.
“And if they want to purchase, by raising their eligibility status, they will have many more offers and much greater choice when it comes to deciding on the type of home they’d like to buy.”
June 14, 2011