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Ex-service men and women are to be given a priority route into affordable housing by a Scottish housing association.
The homes for members of the armed forces returning home are to be offered by Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP) under a new scheme.
The move comes with growing awareness of the difficulties of those returning from duty to find housing for themselves and their families as they must apply to the council as homeless before being referred to a housing association.
In September The Pavement Scotland reported on a soldier who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, but was facing homelessness on his return to Aberdeen because the council could not find him accommodation.
This move by DGHP aims to help to give those who have served in the armed forces an easier route into finding a new home.
Billy Lockhart, chair of DGHP, said: “With nearly 5,000 applicants on our waiting lists, the armed forces personnel had to compete with others for accommodation and they could have to wait a long time. This way, we are directly offering them a number of our annual lets.”
Archie Dryburgh, the Labour councillor who championed the project, said: “Most ex-service personnel end up either living with friends or family or are placed in temporary accommodation and can wait for long periods before they are offered a home.
“This change to DGHP’s policy will make a real difference for those affected and I must congratulate the board on taking this decision to support these men and women.”