Research, Armed Forces charities research

Focus On: Armed Forces Charities' Housing Provision

What is the purpose of the report? 

Access to sustainable housing has a huge impact on quality of life. Whilst previous research has generally found that the vast majority of Service leavers transition smoothly to civilian life and secure appropriate housing, a number of armed forces charities exist to provide support to those who need it.

This Focus On report intends to provide, for the first time, a comprehensive overview of housing support delivered by forces charities.

What does it cover?

As part of the Focus On series, this report provides more specific analysis of the work of armed forces charities across the UK – in this case, armed forces charities which support members of the armed forces community with housing and homelessness.

In this report, we use the phrase ‘housing provision’ to refer to any activity which helps members of the armed forces community to find and retain appropriate housing. It includes the provision of accommodation and other relevant support services.

The report aims to provide the reader with:

  • Exploration of housing support offered by charities
  • Insights into the beneficiary population
  • Assessment of expenditure on housing provision
  • Collaboration, evaluation and best practice
  • Conclusions and recommendations

In addition, the report includes several case studies to demonstrate the work undertaken to provide housing support.

Who is it for?

This is a unique resource for charities, practitioners, government, policymakers and researchers to understand what armed forces charities do to support members of the armed forces community with housing and homelessness.

What did we find?

  • There are 78 armed forces charities delivering housing support with small numbers of charities delivering specialist services.
  • Armed forces charities delivered housing support to at least 11,600 beneficiaries and spent at least £40 million on providing support within the year prior to data collection.
  • There are 47 charities providing accommodation, delivering at least 10,200 beds across the UK.
  • Housing provision extends beyond putting roofs over beneficiaries’ heads, including advice, signposting, practical domestic help and grant-making.
  • Relatively few charities deliver frontline homelessness services which respond to beneficiaries in ‘crisis situations’.
  • Armed forces charities frequently work together but are less likely to partner with other types of organisations.

What did people say?

James Richardson and Ed Tytherleigh, Co-Chairs, Cobseo Housing Cluster (from the Foreword): ‘On behalf of the Cluster, we are delighted to endorse and commend this report for anyone who wants to help homeless veterans. We are very happy to support the recommendations made by the report and we take pride in leading on ever-deeper collaboration between Veterans’ housing providers.’


Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust: ‘This latest in the series of Focus On reports provides an independent and thorough analysis of Armed Forces charities providing housing support.  It is a highly credible piece of research, and a ‘must read’ for anyone setting policy or delivering services around housing, or indeed anyone with an interest in the positive transition of ex-Service personnel into civilian life.’

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