Broken heating in military family homes reported 24,000 times in less than a year

Watch: Problems in military accommodation is 'directly contributing to a fall in morale', says Labour.

Armed Forces families living in service accommodation have reported broken heating more than 24,000 times in less than a year.

Labour says that the figure is the equivalent of more than half of the UK's 48,000 forces family properties.

The latest figures – provided by the Government – have revealed the scale of the problems that have been posted about repeatedly on social media throughout the winter, says Labour.

"This is directly contributing to a fall in morale," says Labour MP Luke Pollard, who is Shadow Armed Forces Minister

"We know that to retain and recruit the very best people in our Armed Forces, we need to provide affordable, suitably located, and decent quality accommodation for them and their families to live in, but that's not happening at the moment," he said.

On top of the broken heating issues, problems with no hot water were reported more than 3,000 times. 

And it's not just Service Family Accommodation – the Government's figures show that more than half of single living accommodation blocks have also had heating and hot water problems.

Watch: Mouldy housing forces Army wife out of UK with illness.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) says it acknowledges things haven't been good enough for the families affected.

It says no home should be left without heating or hot water for more than 24 hours and calls it "completely unacceptable" that some personnel and families have not been receiving the level of accommodation they deserve.

But the MOD says it is working with suppliers to make "sustained improvements", and that now, no more than one-in-1,000 of its homes is suffering total heating loss for more than two days.

The latest MOD statistics reveal that 16,250 people left the Armed Forces in the year to October 2022, a 17.5% increase, while 30% fewer people joined up.

More than a quarter of tri-service personnel says the issues with accommodation provision increase their intention to leave service.

The Ministry of Defence previously confirmed it is exercising its contractual rights to withhold payments from the contractors responsible for maintaining military homes, after a wave of complaints due to mould and cold.

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