Military Life

New strategy aims to boost military living standards

A new strategy for military housing has been launched.

The reputation of Britain's forces' accommodation has taken a bit of a hammering over the years – there have been cases of mould forcing families out and ceilings falling through.

However, a new three-pronged approach has been launched.

Minimum standards introduced to Single Living Accommodation aims to get personnel their own space, and even an ensuite, with ventilation and no leaks.

For those who can prove they are in a long-term relationship, they will be housed just the same as those in married couples and civil partnerships – since 2019 they have been able to apply, but now they are entitled, not just eligible.

Living spaces will be allocated based on specific needs like family size, and care requirements, rather than rank.

Defence minister Sarah Atherton turned to launch the defence accommodation strategy. As an Army veteran, she lived in family housing in the 1980s.

She told Forces News: "Actually coming back to see it now, I don't think a lot's changed in certain levels of this accommodation. Some of the guys were telling me, actually, it's a bit grim and it gets them down. They deserve better.

"We're going to be investing £2bn for Single Living Accommodation over the next 10 years. There's already been a considerable amount of money invested into families accommodation."

 

Watch: Thousands of forces families able to enjoy refurbished accommodation.

Lieutenant General James Swift is responsible for people issues for more than 200,000 service personnel.

He said: "A lot of our housing stock is quite old and it wasn't built necessarily to today's standards, so we're doing a combination of things.

"Partly, we're building completely new stuff, made to meet the sustainability requirements and everything that we would expect today, and then where we're not doing that, we're also refurbishing."

Elements of the Minimum Standards Scheme will not kick in until autumn 2023.