Soldier fears return to UK will mean homelessness

A SOLDIER who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq claims he could be made homeless when he returns to Scotland because a council cannot find him and his family accommodation.

Dean Ramsey - who was awarded the Freedom of the City of Aberdeen in honour of his ten years' service with the Highlanders 4th Battalion Royal Regiment Scotland - plans to return to Aberdeen when he leaves the army. When he applied for council housing, he was told he would have to go on the homeless list until a house became available.

He said: "My wife and son are due to move back to Aberdeen in the middle of August. Why does a soldier who has been fighting for his country have to be homeless before they can put a roof over his or her family's head?"

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During his military career, Mr Ramsey has served in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was among the Highlanders who paraded through Aberdeen in July 2006 to be awarded the Freedom of the City.

Serving in the armed forces is a family tradition for the 26-year-old. His father was in the Royal Highland Fusiliers and his grandfather was in the Gordon Highlanders and a paratrooper in the Second World War.

Mr Ramsey said he was leaving the army after suffering a non-combat-related injury to his back. He is due to start a job carrying out offshore inspections when he returns next February, but his wife Clare and their son Logan hope to move from Germany next month.

Mr Ramsey contacted Aberdeen Donside SNP MSP Brian Adam who offered to make representations on his behalf to the city council.

Mr Adam said: "Unfortunately there is a shortage of social housing in Aberdeen and the number of people on the waiting lists exceeds 8,000 - while the council's stock has been severely depleted due to 'right to buy'."