The MOD has said today that it aims to have all UK service families living in the highest standard of accommodation by 2020.
The aim is revealed in the Defence Estates (DE) 10 Year Accommodation Management Strategy which sets out plans for improving housing for both Service Families Accommodation (SFA) and Single Living Accommodation (SLA) over the next decade.
Defence Estates will now target its major upgrade programme on improving 4,000 houses in the worst condition (Standard 3 and 4) every year for the next three years. By March 2013 very few, if any, families should be living in houses that don’t meet the top two condition standards. By the same date, 50 percent of single living accommodation should also be at the top grade.
The MOD has made major investments in Single Living Accommodation over the past seven years, providing 35,000 trained military personnel with accommodation of the highest modern standard. By 2020, Defence Estates aims to provide 70 percent of SLA at the top level (Grade 1) and the remainder at Grade 2.
Key features of the strategy include: better communication of upgrade plans to military personnel and their families and tough action to reduce the proportion of accommodation that is lying empty.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Kevan Jones said:
“Our military personnel work extremely hard and both they and their families deserve accommodation of a high standard. This strategy builds on the principles set out by the Service Personnel Command Paper and shows that we have solid plans in place to improve accommodation for all our personnel.
Vice Admiral Tim Laurence, the Chief Executive of Defence Estates said:
“This strategy sets out how Service accommodation will be managed over the next 10 years. Given the unique factors surrounding the provision of military accommodation, and the current economic pressures, we have set ourselves some very challenging targets. But it is right that we should aim high. It is most important that we understand and adapt to the continually evolving requirements of the Armed Forces, working shoulder to shoulder with all three Services to ensure that their future accommodation demands are met as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.”
Over the next 10 years the MOD plans to spend over £3 billion on new-build, upgraded and improved living accommodation for the Armed Forces. I
Within the last two years major upgrade and new build projects have included:
Single Living Accommodation: Catterick Garrison, Yorkshire; Alexander Barracks, Surrey; Bovington Camp, Dorset; RM Lympstone, Devon; Portsmouth Naval Base; Northolt, North London; RAF Leeming, Yorkshire; Ballykinlar Barracks, Thiepval Barracks and Kinnegar Logistic Base, Northern Ireland; Faslane Naval Base, Clyde; Germany; and Gibraltar.
Service Family Accommodation (SFA) projects have included: Aldershot, Hampshire; Dale Barracks, Chester; Invicta Park Barracks, Kent ; Blandford Garrison, Dorset ; Larkhill, Wiltshire; RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire; Scotland; Germany; and Gibraltar.