Former soldiers are first choice for Olympic Village homes

A campaign has been launched to give ex-soldiers priority when the Olympic Village is turned into housing after the 2012 Games.

Leaders of all of East London’s councils, including Newham mayor Sir Robin Wales, have written to the Queen asking for her support.

From 2013, the Olympic Village will be transformed from athletes accommodation into a neighbourhood with more than 2,800 homes plus a school and community facilities.

Half the site will be sold to a private company while the rest will be turned into “affordable” housing. A total of 675 of the properties will be offered to those on council housing waiting lists.

The boroughs will work with the Ministry of Defence to identify which service personnel fit the criteria. The preference is for them to have a strong connection to the East End.

Those given priority will probably include some with injuries or disabilities.

Others to add their names to the letter include Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney, and his counterpart at Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman.

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Sir Robin said: “We believe it would be a fitting legacy and well deserved for former service personnel to have nomination priority in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

“By prioritising those who have seen active service in defence of the realm, we can recognise their contribution and help support their future.

“By rewarding those who do work hard and want to give something back, we can build stronger communities.”