Housing Options Scotland
Thanks to grant funding from all 3 branches of the armed forces, Housing Options Scotland (HOS) has again been working with 51 Brigade’s Transition Officer over the last year to deliver information and advice events across the length and breadth of the country. At these events personnel and their families who are leaving the armed forces and settling in Scotland can find out about civilian housing options and the Scottish housing market.
HOS have a successful track record of providing these events to all 3 services in Scotland tailoring them to reflect local housing issues and highlighting incentive schemes such as Forces Help to Buy and current Scottish Government initiatives too. These events are not aimed specifically at those in transition, they are aimed at families or individuals who want to start planning now for their future accommodation needs, primarily home ownership. However, it is a recognised aim of the Scottish Government to encourage veterans and their families to settle in their local communities when they leave the forces and they make a valuable contribution to civilian society.
It is important to know what options are out there when it comes to housing whether leaving the Services Family Accommodation or Single Living Quarters. As well as a comprehensive briefing, HOS also offer the chance to chat informally on an individual basis, that way advice can be given in confidence and to suit specific financial or family circumstances. This project continues to build on the positive relationship HOS has with the Royal Navy, Army and particularly RAF Lossiemouth. Flight Sergeant Ally Campbell, Service Community Support Officer, commented;
“Understanding the process of buying a home and the cost of buying in a particular area has provided personnel with an understanding of what is affordable. They also understand the difference between private and social renting. Fraser’s natural presentation skills were admired by all and his approachable nature meant many of the audience stayed behind after for one to one sessions. In short the presentations were gratefully received by all and I would hope there will be an opportunity for further sessions”.
Housing Options Scotland will also be on hand to offer advice to those leaving the forces at the upcoming Career Transition Partnership Employment Fair at Murrayfield Stadium on 10 May. Traditionally HOS has attended these annual events to ensure that service leavers have the option to consider their housing need alongside their future employment. It remains a contested debate along the age-old argument of chicken vs. egg as to which takes priority.
Many thanks to The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, ABF – The Soldiers Charity and the RAF Benevolent Fund for ensuring HOS can continue to work with the serving armed forces community in Scotland.