RBL welcomes new guidance published on Saturday 27 June from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, which will ensure divorced or separated spouses and partners of Service personnel in England are able to access housing support on the same terms as other Armed Forces families - a change that RBL and others have been advocating for some years.
The new guidance meets the RBL’s 2017 General Election Manifesto ask by recognising that the sacrifices and commitment of Armed Forces families should not be forgotten in the unfortunate case of divorce or separation.
In future, councils in England should systematically recognise that where it has been challenging to build up qualifying residence for a housing waiting list due to the mobile lifestyle of the Forces, local connection rules can be disregarded for ex-partners of serving personnel leaving Ministry of Defence accommodation.
The new guidance also makes reference to the RBL’s Supporting the Armed Forces Community with Housing best practice guide, which provides insight into the housing needs of the Armed Forces community as well as examples of best practice from across the country in terms of the housing support offered to the Armed Forces community.
“The principles of the Armed Forces Covenant apply to the whole Armed Forces community, including the families of serving and ex-Service personnel. They make great sacrifices and provide invaluable support, enabling our serving personnel to thrive in their military career. In many cases it is spouses, partners and children of serving personnel who face some of the greatest upheavals associated with Armed Forces life. By meeting RBL’s call for fair treatment for divorcing and separating spouses, today’s announcement is a step forward in recognising that sacrifice. We urge all councils in England to implement this guidance without delay, and hope that this change can also be extended across the rest of the UK.”
“The announcement is a step forward in recognising that sacrifice.”