Armed Forces: Accommodation

House of Lords written question – answered on 28th February 2011.

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Photo of Lord Ashcroft Lord Ashcroft Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps have been taken since the National Audit Office report Service Families Accommodation of March 2009 to raise the standard of service accommodation.

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to raise the standard of service families' accommodation.

To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures are in place to upgrade and improve existing service families' accommodation.

To ask Her Majesty's Government what budget has been allocated to upgrade service families' accommodation in 2010-11; and what budget has been allocated for subsequent years.

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the criteria upon which funds will be allocated for the upgrade and improvement of service families' accommodation.

Photo of Lord Astor of Hever Lord Astor of Hever Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

The 2009 National Audit Office report on service family accommodation (SFA), published in May 2009, covered the situation before this Government took office. Since May 2010 this Government have consistently sought to ensure that service personnel and their families are housed in good-quality modern accommodation.

The 2010-11 upgrade programme typically provides a new kitchen, bathroom, heating system and often a new roof and windows and will bring at least 800 SFA properties up to the highest standard for condition. In addition, around 4,000 properties will benefit from smaller-scale improvements such as new boilers, bathrooms, kitchens, loft insulation and double glazing, which may not amount to a full upgrade but will deliver real lifestyle benefits to occupants.

Some £60 million has been allocated in the financial year 2010-11 for the upgrade and improvement programmes in England and Wales. Allocations for future years have yet to be agreed, but the Government will endeavour to improve as many properties as possible from the agreed allocation, together with possible funding from efficiencies found elsewhere within the Ministry of Defence.

Over 95 per cent of SFA in the UK are now at the top two (of four) standards for condition.

The current upgrade and improvement programmes in the UK prioritise investment on a greatest needs first basis.

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