Housing minister Yvette Cooper announces the government is to change the law to ensure Armed Forces personnel are on equal footing when applying for social housing

Service personnel leaving the Armed Forces should soon find it easier to get a council house following changes to the way housing is allocated.

Housing minister Yvette Cooper has announced the government is to amend the law to ensure service personnel are put on an equal footing with other people when applying for social housing.

Existing legislation allows councils to take into account whether applicants have a local connection when prioritising applicants for social housing.

This can put serving personnel at a disadvantage, as it is not possible for them to establish a local connection with an area through residence or employment when serving in the Armed Forces.

A recent study of 17 local councils carried out by the Department for Communities and Local Government found there were regional differences in how service personnel looking for social housing were treated.

Cooper said: “It’s right we provide our servicemen and women with the best possible support as they move back to civilian life.

“The service our Armed Forces give to their country must not place them at any disadvantage when applying for a council house. We are closing this loop-hole which has led to some former service personnel facing an uphill battle getting access to social housing.”

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