The Defence Committee today (15 December 2011) announces a major new inquiry into the accommodation provided to members for the Armed Forces and their families
This inquiry will be the second in a series of inquiries looking at the Armed Forces Covenant. The Committee’s first inquiry into the Armed Forces Covenant was on the support and treatment of military casualties and the Report was published on 15 December 2011.
The Armed Forces Covenant states that:
In addressing the accommodation requirements of Service personnel, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) seeks to promote choice, recognising the benefits of stability and home ownership amongst members of the Armed Forces where this practicable and compatible with Service requirements, and also that their needs alter as they progress through Service and ultimately return to civilian life. Where Serving personnel are entitled to publicly-provided accommodation, it should be a good quality, affordable, and suitably located. They should have priority status in applying for Government-sponsored affordable housing schemes, and Service leavers should retain this status for a period after discharge.
The Armed Forces require their personnel to be mobile to meet operational needs, hence personnel are provided with accommodation for which they pay a charge based on the condition of the property and available facilities. Married personnel, those in civil partnership and those with sole custody of children are provided with Service families accommodation.
The Committee wishes to examine how the MoD and others are delivering the housing section of the Armed Forces Covenant. The Committee wishes to scrutinise the quality and condition of the accommodation provided to Armed Forces personnel and how the MoD promotes home ownership and how it supports personnel in finding accommodation when they leave the Services. In particular, the Committee is interested in:
- the condition of the accommodation provided to families and single personnel;
- the upgrade programme for both service families accommodation and single living accommodation;
- how Armed Forces personnel regard their accommodation and related services;
- whether the MoD has sufficient accommodation of the right size and quality in the right place;
- how the MoD is managing the housing estate and single living accommodation, including planning, allocation, the upgrade programme, repair and maintenance arrangements; and
- to what extent and how the MoD is promoting home ownership and how it supports those leaving the Armed Forces in finding future accommodation.
How to respond
The Committee would welcome written evidence to this inquiry. A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to [email protected] and should have ‘The Armed Forces Covenant in Action? Part 2: Accommodation' in the subject line. Submission should be sent to the Clerk of the Defence Committee by Monday 30 January 2011.
If you have any queries on the submission of evidence contact Karen Jackson, Audit Adviser, tel: 020 7219 6168, email: [email protected]