Mould in a service family's accommodation.
Mould in a service family's accommodation.

Shadow defence secretary commissions an expert review of military housing

Mould in a service family's accommodation.
Mould in a service family's accommodation.

The Shadow Defence Secretary has commissioned a full-scale, independent review of military housing.

John Healey has tweeted to say the UK's Armed Forces and their families live in housing that fails any decency test.

It comes as the Labour Party shapes its offer to the services ahead of the next general election.

New statistics reveal service families have received almost 8,000 compensation payments for the state of their accommodation since April 2022, Labour said.

On average, 26 payments were issued every day between April 2022 and January 2023, which cost more than £500,000, worth £186,031 shelled out in January alone, the party added, saying it means current maintenance contractors are having to pay out compensation at four times the rate of their predecessors.

Mr Healey said: "The shocking state of Armed Forces housing is a running sore. The Conservatives are failing forces and their families on a daily basis. 

"Poor conditions are not only a breach of the country's duty to those who serve, they are a clear and present danger to morale. At a time of increased threats, this risk to recruitment and retention could undermine our national security.

"For Labour, the defence of our nation begins at home. This is the first step towards delivering the homes fit for heroes our forces deserve."

Last week, the MOD confirmed that contractors responsible for repairing service families' homes are having their payments withheld while "performance remains sub-par".

Watch: Campaigner describes nightmare of housing situation for some military families.

Speaking about the Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) contract at the Defence Select Committee, David Williams, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Defence (MOD), confirmed that contractors have been "placed in default" after thousands of military families were left to live in damp and mouldy homes.

During questions at the committee on Wednesday, Mr Williams confirmed that since January there have been 3,600 cases reported of damp and mould and the three firms have managed to "assess" up to 2,800 of those.

Mr Williams did go on to confirm that any initial assessment would likely be dealt with by a "clean and a paint", as the companies are struggling to find enough specialist surveyors to deal with the mould issues.

When probed on how many of the three firms were having payments withheld, the Permanent Under-Secretary confirmed the MOD is withholding payment but said "I would have to check, but I think from all three."

The contracts are worth £640m in total and make up part of the MOD's £3bn Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) programme.

The three companies benefiting from the FDIS contract include Pinnacle Group Ltd, Amey and VIVO.

Forces News approached all three companies for a comment.

An MOD spokesperson said: "The financial situation continues to receive careful and urgent attention, but we will not hesitate to enforce financial consequences if performance continues to be unacceptable."

Related topics

Join Our Newsletter


The British Army's giant virtual battlefield

US military's largest field exercise on Korean peninsula in five years

Find out how 'Hearts and Minds' became a very British tactic