MP calls for empty barracks to be turned into homes for rough-sleeping veterans

EMPTY barrack blocks should be converted to house homeless heroes, an MP says.

Thousands of war vets live on the streets while huge swathes of land lie empty.

At least 12,000 ex-servicemen and women are estimated to be sleeping rough

Defence chiefs admit 47 military sites in Britain, including old barracks and training centres, are disused.

Labour MP Gareth Thomas, who unearthed the figures with a Commons question, wants them given to military charities for low-cost housing communities.

He said: “It is a national scandal the Government has allowed so many veterans to be homeless.

The MoD should hand over empty land which can be used to get heroes off the streets.”

At least 12,000 ex-servicemen and women are sleeping rough.

According to charity Soldiers off the Streets they make up four per cent of Britain’s homeless population.


Mr Thomas wants the MoD to copy US projects such as Soldier On, a housing co-operative which uses ex-military land to set up ex-servicemen communities.

He said: “Veterans housing co-operatives are not a radical idea, but they do require ministers to show a bit of imagination and determination.”

The 2011 Armed Forces Covenant says military vets should get priority for affordable housing.

But defence cuts have seen 30,000 troops axed since 2010.

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt is probing better use of military estates.

A Government spokesman said: “We are spending £1billion to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness.”

Gareth Thomas MP has called for rough sleeping vets to be housed in empty barracks


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