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MoD needs to make military housing a greater priority
DB News: 03/07/2019 - 10:41
A Commons Select Committee has warned that the Ministry of Defence is missing its military housing target.
Poor military accommodation puts a strain on working and family life and is detrimental to morale. It also undermines efforts to recruit and retain armed forces personnel, many of whom have specialist skills which are in short supply.
A significant proportion of personnel, in some surveys almost half, remain dissatisfied with their accommodation. Planned reforms of the system designed to improve the accommodation options available are unlikely to start to be implemented nationally until 2022 at the earliest, while the existing system has created a mismatch between the traditional model of military housing and the ways in which UK citizens now live.
At a time of such financial strain, MPs argue that the Ministry of Defence cannot afford to lose experienced and skilled personnel simply because their homes are not up to standard.
A committee member said: “Too many military service personnel find themselves in living quarters where the standard is simply not good enough. Poor accommodation puts a strain on working and family life and hits morale and retention rates. The nation cannot afford to lose experienced and skilled personnel simply because their homes are not up to standard.
“Satisfaction amongst service families with accommodation is far too low - around half, according to some surveys. Unfortunately plans to improve choice in the accommodation system are unlikely to begin until 2022 or later. MoD must act to keep up with changes in social attitudes and the needs of personnel. Entitlement to accommodation remains limited to couples who are married or in civil partnerships. MoD hold far too many empty properties, some 10,000, while there are thousands of people across the country on housing waiting lists. MoD need to urgently reduce these levels.”