Housing Advice for Military Veterans
Wiltshire has a proud history of working with the military and supporting a positive discharge plan for those leaving the Forces and settling in to civilian life. We have produced a leaflet Leaving the Armed Forces which identifies the housing options available and has information about military charities. It can be downloaded at the top of this page.
The National Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served in the armed forces and their families, are treated fairly, and not disadvantaged as a result of their service. Every council in the country has pledged to uphold the national Covenant through a local Community Covenant pledge. Wiltshire Council was instrumental in initiating the Military Civilian Integration (MCI) Partnership, a partnership with its military communities in 2006, sometime before the Armed Forces Covenant was conceived. Wiltshire signed its own community covenant in August 2011, shortly after the national launch in June. It was ratified by a range of local partners at the Wiltshire Assembly in December 2013 and reaffirmed in March 2017, with new businesses and other organisations signing up.
Wiltshire Council has been able to demonstrate an enormous amount of effort in embracing the needs of the wider military.
- Policies include schools admissions, housing, paid leave for Reservists and flexible working arrangements which are attractive to military spouses - see further details below.
- The Enterprise Network (TEN), a SWLEP- wide programme led by Wiltshire Council in partnership with Swindon Borough Council and private partners, encourages start-up enterprises which particularly target the military community as part of the programme
- The Higher Futures Programme which the military community is to pilot
- A new military 'landing page' on our recruitment website designed for military leavers and families
- Support for local organisations to apply for and draw down nearly £1m from the Community Covenant fund over 4 years
- Support to military charities such as SSAFA and the RBL through engagement with their programmes
- Spreading best practice to other local authorities and leading on various Local Government Association initiatives, such as the close involvement of local authorities in MOD estate disposal plans and processes
- The Army Basing Programme and the return of troops from Germany
We want Army Leavers to have a positive experience of resettlement and that work must start early through planning with Welfare Officers. Wiltshire Council works closely with the Welfare Teams and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation to identify those leaving the forces and to help create Personalised Pathways that meet their needs. Each plan will be different depending on the needs of the individual, their families,their financial circumstances and their future needs. Many army leavers receive a discharge payment and we will consider that as part of looking at suitable housing options on discharge. It is important that Veterans take account of this money and use it to help resettle themselves into civilian life and our team can help them look at options.
- Wiltshire Council has supported, promoted and participated in all the South West Transition Fairs and British Forces Resettlement Service (BFRS) events where businesses and service providers offer advice and support to service personnel planning their futures following their military career. The most recent took place in Tidworth on 15 March.
- We staff exhibition stands at the events and highlight the military focused programmes that the council is involved with such as Higher Futures, The Enterprise Network and University Technology Colleges.