Military Life

Service family accommodation problems are 'straight-up scandal', Labour says

Shadow defence secretary says improving military housing must be ministers' priority.

Almost one in three service personnel are waiting for repairs to their accommodation, according to the shadow defence secretary.

Labour's John Healey told Forces News he has been contacted by Armed Forces personnel living with accommodation problems, such as mould, who say they have been waiting months for repairs to be carried out.

"This is a straight-up scandal. Ministers have known about this for years but done nothing," he said.

"Families who should be able to rely on having a decent home as part of their service of contract are having to take to social media, they're contacting me about the problems that they're getting."

He added: "Water coming through the light bulbs and freezing, mould in children's bedrooms, houses with a hole in the outside wall stuffed with a plastic bag and covered with MDF, and still waiting for months to get these repaired."

Dozens of personnel have taken to social media, sharing photos and videos of the conditions they are living in, including by families who say they have had no heating or hot water since April 2022.

Service families have been hitting out on social media regarding the long delays to urgent repairs to homes (Picture: MOD).

Collapsing ceilings, major leaks, and floods to homes are among the complaints that have been made – with claims made that some cases are still awaiting any response at all.

Mr Healey said data he has received from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) shows almost one in three homes are waiting for repairs, adding that "this simply isn't good enough and it's certainly not good enough for those who are willing to serve for our country".

The shadow defence secretary said action needs to be taken by the Government to solve the issues for military personnel.

"I want ministers to take it seriously. I want it to make it their priority and their mission to make sure that those who serve and their families have decent homes that are safe and affordable as part of their contract, their contract with the nation for keeping us safe and defending us.

"That means getting tough on the contractors that are failing again and again and again."

Mr Healey also urged military personnel to speak out about accommodation problems they are facing.

"Make your voices heard," he said. "This is part of what we all need, a decent warm secure home and when we have a Government and a Ministry of Defence which can't even provide that for those who join our Armed Forces and their families, then we're failing them and we're failing those who serve."

In response to reports of poor service accommodation earlier this week, an MOD spokesperson said: "It is unacceptable that some of our personnel and their families are not receiving the level of accommodation services that they deserve and we are investigating what happened in this case with our suppliers.

"Loss of heating and hot water should be responded to as soon as possible and within 48 hours."

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