James GRAY   Conservative MP for North Wiltshire

During yesterday’s questions to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, North Wiltshire MP James Gray asked if it was true that veterans were disproportionately represented among the homeless, and what might be done if this were the case. He said:

“It is often alleged […] that a disproportionate number of rough sleepers in Britain come from the armed services. Will the Secretary of State tell us, first, whether or not that is true and whether there is any statistical evidence; and secondly, what more can be done to ensure that when people leaved the armed services they are given proper accommodation and kept off the streets?”

Responding, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, acknowledged that this was indeed the case. He cited the role of the Armed Forces Covenant and the Government’s commitments on funding for services to alleviate homelessness:

“[Mr Gray] is absolutely right to raise this issue. It is a disproportionate number, which is unacceptable. Almost all local authorities have signed up to the armed forces covenant, which will help, but we ​have to do more. The fact that the Government have committed £500 million to tackle homeless and rough sleeping over the next four years will certainly help.”