Marine’s facing homelessness in plea to PM
Father-of-three Michael Glen, from Prestonpans in East Lothian, has written to the Prime Minister demanding an explanation as to why his eight years’ service is being “ignored” by housing chiefs.
Having recently completed his second tour of Afghanistan and keen to spend time with his young children, Michael – whose marriage broke down last year – is now preparing to leave the Marines.
He was horrified to be told by East Lothian Council’s housing officers that, unless he books into a homeless hostel on leaving the forces, he won’t have enough “points” to qualify for council housing.
He said: “I was informed if I had to come out of prison I would be awarded 80 points and, if I was homeless, I would be awarded 100 points.
“I was awarded no points for any service in the Royal Marines.”
Originally from Edinburgh, Michael can’t afford a private rented home until he finds new work, but is desperate to be close to five-month old daughter Rachel and three-year-old son Daniel in Prestonpans.
He explained: “I have made my life in Prestonpans and this is where I want to live, especially with the kids being so young. I think it is important for them to know that I am close by.”
Michael also has an 11-year-old son from a previous relationship.
In his moving letter to David Cameron, Michael said: “I have been on two operational tours of Afghanistan, risking my life daily. This is why I am leaving. I have three kids to support and I can’t do that from a grave.
“Because I’m volunteering to leave, the local council say they have no requirement to house me. I feel strongly that this is absolutely disgusting.”
Last year, Edinburgh council approved plans for the length of a person’s service in the armed forces to count towards their points tally for getting a council house.
Fiona O’Donnell, MP for East Lothian, has called for the government to make the Military Covenant, an understanding between the government and wider society to support members of the armed forces, legally enforceable.
She said: “We owe a huge debt to the men and women who serve in our armed forces.
“I want the Prime Minister to intervene in this case and show us that he is serious about looking after our veterans.”
Iain Gray, MSP for East Lothian, said: “The council claim to provide extra support for veterans, and they should not be quibbling about why he is leaving the forces.”
A council spokesman explained that military staff who chose to leave the forces, rather than being discharged, are not entitled to “loss of service points” that would help them secure council housing.
Downing Street declined to comment.