SNP MSP Gordon MacDonald has called on the Ministry of Defence to do more to house former veterans – after shock figures revealed the number of army homes left empty has skyrocketed.
The figures, uncovered through Freedom of Information, show that the number of vacant MoD properties in Scotland has increased from 690 in 2013 to 1136 this year.
While some of these properties are in need of modernisation or have structural damage, many are considered “surplus” and could be used as homes.
Commenting, Mr MacDonald said: “Risk of homelessness is all too common among veterans, some of whom will struggle to adapt to civilian life or who may suffer from mental illness such as PTSD.
“The MoD has a duty of care, and a moral obligation, to help those who have served.
“It’s not right that the number of homes left empty is skyrocketing when they could be put to use housing homeless veterans on their route to a permanent tenancy.
“Whilst the Scottish Government is stepping up their actions to prevent homelessness and homeless applications have reduced 39% over the past eight years, we need to see more action from the UK Government.
“The MoD need to play their part and bring this housing into use for the public good.”