Only nine London borough councils make specific reference the housing priority given to homeless veterans, according to a recent report.

The Government published the Armed Forces Covenant on May 16 2011 which was described as "an expression of the moral obligation that the Government and the nation owe to those who serve or have served in our armed forces and to their families". 

The document expressed that homeless veterans be given housing priority.

'Homeless veterans in London: investigating housing responsibilities', produced by legal experts at Kent Law School and commissioned by London Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committee, found that 24 boroughs do not make any reference to priority for ex-service personnel on their websites.

Professor Helen Carr and Dr Ed Kirton-Darling of Kent Law School found that Barnet and Kensington & Chelsea’s allocations do not comply with the law, which provides for particular duties towards veterans and their families.

The nine boroughs that do make reference to the priority given to veterans are Wandsworth, Camden, the Cities of London and Westminster, Havering, Islington, Lewisham, Merton and Sutton.

Lynn Verity, chairman of London VAPC, which is a leading armed forces support group, described the research as "invaluable" but that so much more needs to be done to help ex-serviceman and women who are homeless.

She said: "This is not about how many of our veterans are on London’s streets nor why they find themselves there.

"Rather, it is about ensuring that any homeless veteran who goes to a local authority for help is treated fairly. This report suggests that, too often, they are not.”

Wandsworth council has housed 27 ex-serviceman and women since 2011 and was referenced twice in the report as 'best practice'.

Wandsworth council Cabinet member for housing Cllr Paul Ellis said: "With the nation placing such high demands on our armed forces and their families, councils should be doing all they can to support servicemen and women on the home front, especially when it comes to meeting their housing needs.

"This extra support is crucial for those leaving the army, navy or air force.

"The move to civvy street can be a difficult and challenging time and councils must do all they can to help smooth that process by ensuring their housing needs are properly met.

"Providing them and their families with a decent roof over their heads is just one small way in which we can begin to repay them."

In the report, Prof Carr and Dr Kirton advise that all 33 councils can improve the circumstances for homeless veterans and that clarity is needed on the test for vulnerability.

Read the report here