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Housing for ex armed forces


b6bloke
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One of my pet hates is how ex-servicmen end up on the scrap heap in bedsits etc as they cant get on the council list. In my opinion they should be treated like exceptional citizens due to what they have done for their country and should go on the top of the council housing list etc.

Well done Birmingham City Council

It could do more but its a start.

BIRMINGHAM is set to become the UK’s first city without its own garrison to sign a special covenant with the armed forces.

The council and city of Birmingham has pledged to help soldiers, sailors and airmen in the Covenant which will officially be signed by the Lord Mayor Anita Ward today.

In particular the council, as well as charities and voluntary groups, will help armed forces veterans settle and adjust to civilian life after their military careers.

In return the forces have pledged to offer their skills and expertise to help communities in Birmingham.

Coun Ward (Lab, Hodge Hill) has made support for the armed service a key feature of her year as Lord Mayor.

Her son Vincent Hockley, an Irish Guardsman, was shot in the hip during a Taliban ambush while on patrol in Afghanistan in November 2010. He has recovered and returned to duty.

She said: “I’m honoured to be involved in such a positive initiative which will help those serving, ex-armed forces personnel and local communities in Birmingham.

“I’m looking forward to the official signing which will seal the relationship between the military, charities, voluntary organisations, local people and the city council.”

She will be joined by city housing chief John Lines who last year launched a homes for heroes initiative to build 12 new council properties in Frankley Lane, Bartley Green.

The three houses, three bungalows and six apartment are being built for wounded ex-servicemen and women.

Also attending the event will be Ministry of Defence officials.

Brigadier Mark Banham MBE, Commander of 143 (West Midlands) Brigade, said: “The declaration between the military and the council will help to bind what will become the start of a significant relationship between all parties involved.”

The city council is the first local authority in the UK to construct the homes, which are designed for wounded ex-servicemen and women.

Work began on the 12 properties earlier this year and they are due to be completed in Mar

ch.
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Devil's advocate:

They do a job in which they are (supposedly) trained in some skill or other, they get free clothing, food and housing while they are serving. They should be able to (a) save money and (B) plan for their post service life, should they not?

I'm not trying to be confrontational, just presenting an alternative view for discussion.

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Devil's advocate:

They do a job in which they are (supposedly) trained in some skill or other, they get free clothing, food and housing while they are serving. They should be able to (a) save money and (B) plan for their post service life, should they not?

I'm not trying to be confrontational, just presenting an alternative view for discussion.

They don't get free housing, or free food Mike (except in particular, specific circs). Free clothing to the extent that their work clothes are provided by their employer, as is the case for many "jobs". Then again, on the wages most get, they couldn't afford to buy all the kit.

There is also the problem that with postings, they never get, by and large, to be anywhere permanently, so can't get on waiting lists etc. That's different to other "jobs".

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they get free clothing, food and housing

My Dad was in the wrong branch of the Armed Forces, then.

OK, it was a sweeping statement, and an oversimplified cliche, I know. But like I say, I'm trying to spark a genuine debate.

I guess it comes down to whether a career in the forces is the same as any other career choice. I have to say that I think there is a difference between a professional volunteer army, and a conscript one, as in the two world wars.

On what basis should there be a preferential treatment for ex-servicemen and women? Would this only be for those who served "at the sharp end"? Or the same for a pay clerk in Aldershot?

I am all for better treatment for those who have incurred physical or mental injury in serving their country, but I don't know if simply choosing a military career is sufficient to qualify for "homes for heroes" status.

I say again: I haven't made my mind up either way.

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Tricky one this......

Do the armed forces get a bit of a bum deal..... yes. I wouldn't fancy some bloke in a turban taking pot shots at me for c.18k a year - I'm far too afraid and fat.

BUT that was the deal you signed up to.... it does seem a bit like a Policeman complaining he's fed up of working with criminals.

In Mooney's comment yes they should be able to plan for life after the army and the army should support you in doing this. From my (exceedingly limited) view of military life, it seems you and your family are housed at extremely low rents, in the securest places in the nation - so that basic salary is much larger than is publicised.

I think INJURED servicemen is a slightly different issue, and the state should do FAR more than it does to support them in their recovery and the change to non military lifestyle.

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I think it also depends where you are in the heirarchy - socially and militarily

Plenty of ex-Captains and CO's end up in the City and business.

An ex-private from Manchester probably doesn't have the same positive outcome as the above example.

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Having lived in close proximity to an RMB for near-on 10 years, I have mixed feelings on this subject.

The behaviour of many at that place and when they came into town was such that I wouldn't wish them well if they had bum cancer.

People salute them for their bravery. For a career choice. I work in the shipbuilding industry, I don't expect to arrive home to a ticker tape parade though.

And done of the people I know who joined the army in the early 90s only did so because they were too thick/lazy at school to do better. And they came out of the army with good qualifications and careers.

I couldn't do it though, I couldn't go to war and kill someone. And I support them wherever they may be in this world if they are sent to fight.

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As an ex serviceman, as far as I am aware forces personnel are entitled to put their name down for council properties in the area they originally came from, where there spouse comes from and also in the area of their last posting. The issue can be if they do the full 22 years, their pension and final payment takes them over a threshold for council properties I believe.

As someone who did buy property whilst still serving, I can see your veiwpoint but the careers of some are cut prematurely short due to psycohological issues, physical injuries or in the current climate, redundancy. Those who serve see the forces as a family and cannot see it ever ending, if it does prematurely they are often not prepared either financially or mentally for civvy street.

As for the low rents, yes quarters are subsidised as are on camp single accommodation but if you are going to be sent thousands of miles away to fight for your country, the least you can expect is for your family to be properly looked after while you are gone. As for preferential rates, every member of the armed forces is trained as a "soldier first" and there are numerous instances where chefs, clerks and the like have been awarded for meritous service in combat. Therefore, although the exception to the rule, it would be different to implement.

The military takes a significant impact on your body, leading to premature arthritic conditions, bad backs and other issues. Because of the level of physical activity undertaken (for the most part) the body can suffer far more and therefore, the average 40 year old service leaver has conditions and injuries over and above those that would reasonably expected by the average person.

For me and I am biased, they deserve every concession they are afforded and have earned that the hard way.

If you want to see excess, look at what civil servants get!!! :-(

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As an ex serviceman, as far as I am aware forces personnel are entitled to put their name down for council properties in the area they originally came from, where there spouse comes from and also in the area of their last posting. The issue can be if they do the full 22 years, their pension and final payment takes them over a threshold for council properties I believe.

As someone who did buy property whilst still serving, I can see your veiwpoint but the careers of some are cut prematurely short due to psycohological issues, physical injuries or in the current climate, redundancy. Those who serve see the forces as a family and cannot see it ever ending, if it does prematurely they are often not prepared either financially or mentally for civvy street.

As for the low rents, yes quarters are subsidised as are on camp single accommodation but if you are going to be sent thousands of miles away to fight for your country, the least you can expect is for your family to be properly looked after while you are gone. As for preferential rates, every member of the armed forces is trained as a "soldier first" and there are numerous instances where chefs, clerks and the like have been awarded for meritous service in combat. Therefore, although the exception to the rule, it would be different to implement.

The military takes a significant impact on your body, leading to premature arthritic conditions, bad backs and other issues. Because of the level of physical activity undertaken (for the most part) the body can suffer far more and therefore, the average 40 year old service leaver has conditions and injuries over and above those that would reasonably expected by the average person.

For me and I am biased, they deserve every concession they are afforded and have earned that the hard way.

If you want to see excess, look at what civil servants get!!! :-(

But you knew that all of the above were likely when you joined - like any job you were aware of the t&cs.

As for Civil Servants (and think VEEERRRRY carefully before you answer :evil: ) what is excessive about what they get?

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It is a very tricky issue. Any dissent from the help our brave boys line and you are tarred as sympathiser with al qaeda or some such.

If being brave is the threshold for housing, let’s add in miners and fire fighters. If serving your country is the threshold, let’s house nurses and bin collectors. If it’s being shot at, add in the Met….and on it goes.

If I considered joining the army I would include in my consideration that there is shit pay and people will try and blow my legs off. It’s horrible, but it surely surely can’t be a surprise to new recruits can it? They don’t really think they are going to practise marching and be a back drop on Top Gear do they?

I’ve lived in and around a number of RAF camps in the UK and Germany. Some of the people there (who would consider themselves a cut above the average squaddie) really didn’t deserve decent accommodation. You do presume people born and bred in the UK understand the basics of community living.

My personal ‘fix’ for this situation would be to kick off a massive council housing building programme. We have nurses and soldiers without homes, we have mad house prices, we have a flat line economy. **** your quantitative easing. Grow a back bone, forget your Thatcherite back story and build six new towns (with heat pumps and electric car charging whilst you’re at it). It’s what government is actually for, the big stuff. Not dicking about with family tax credit tweeks and re branding schools.

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some good points from either side of the argument.

Ok lets look at this from another view without this getting in to a race row buy who should get priority housing? ex servicemen or immigrants?

This all come about for me as I was talking about a radio interview on Radio 4 last year where an ex sgt in the Royal Marines and done his service and left. He ended up in a bed sit and working as a cleaner. his words "Its so hard to believe that I was fighting in Afghanistan last year in charge of a load of guys and now I am mopping floors and have no esteem left"

It did not sit right with me

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^^ Sorry B6 but thats only going to go one way.

Not all immigration is "bad" or "wrong" -

Council housing should be based on need. If a single ex-squaddy needs a council house, should he get it over a homeless family with 2 kids regardless of their national background? Clearly not.

Being a single ex-serviceman should IMO give you priority over another single person, but not a family or female or elderly/vulnerable person.

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I believe one stat reads that 10% of all prisoners are ex-military? And theres also some worrying figures about the number with alcohol/ unemployment/ mental issues.

Ex-servicemen appear to need a lot of help to adjust to civvy street. If giving them homes is a solution then so be it. I can think of a million other, more cost effective ways but i certainly wouldn't begrudge them any type of post-service support.

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