- Chancellor set to announce new funding package for veterans across the UK at the Spring Budget
- £33 million package will increase availability of veteran housing and support veterans with serious injuries as a result of their service
- Comes on top of £8.5 million package announced last year to end veteran homelessness
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, a Veteran’s badge and a group of Erskine veterans on a day out at HM Naval Base Clyde on the Gareloch.
By Bill Heaney
The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is set to announce in this week’s Budget an additional £33 million over the next three years to support veterans, in recognition of the sacrifices they’ve made for the UK.
The majority of the funding package (£20 million) will go towards the Veteran Capital Housing Fund – a new project to provide extra housing for veterans through the development of new builds and refurbishment of veteran social and charitable housing.
The Chancellor will also extend the Veterans Mobility Fund – backed by £3 million – to provide enduring support for veterans with serious physical injury resulting from their service.
The remaining £10 million will go directly to the Office for Veteran’s Affairs to increase the service and engagement provided to veterans over the next two years.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said:
“We all owe our veterans a huge amount of gratitude for defending democracy and keeping our country safe – and it’s only right that we provide them with all the support they need when they come home.
“This government is firmly on the side of our veterans, and this week I’ll set out a comprehensive package of policies that will solidify our enduring commitment to our ex-servicemen and women for years to come.”
There are thousands of units in houses, village settlements, care homes and other accommodation specifically for veterans across the country. Many of these could be in need of modernisation, replacement or expansion. Providing sustainable housing is key to helping those who have left service – particularly those who are vulnerable and with complex needs.
The new £20 million Veteran Capital Housing Fund will go towards this alongside action to end veteran rough sleeping within this Parliament – helping the government deliver its pledge in the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan 2022-24.
The Veterans Mobility Fund has previously been used to provide dedicated equipment for hundreds of eligible veterans, including specialist wheelchairs and orthotics which is not usually available via the NHS or through the Ministry of Defence. The additional £3 million will refresh this fund to ensure veterans continue to get the specialist support they need.
The government has a strong record of supporting veterans. At the end of last year, the government announced more than £8.5 million of funding to deliver services in more than 900 housing units in England, where specialist help for veterans, including with health, education and employment needs are provided.
As part of this, the government established a new referral scheme – Op FORTITUDE – that will enable veterans at risk of homelessness to access supported housing and wrap-around specialist care in health, housing and education from later this year.
The government also introduced Op COURAGE, a bespoke mental health support service for veterans in the NHS in England, backed by over £18 million a year investment plus an additional £2.7 million to be invested over the next two years. The service has already helped tens of thousands of patients since it was established in 2021.