GovWire

Detailed guide: Service family accommodation

Ministry Of Defence

October 20
14:32 2020

Project Speed: additional government funding to improve service families accommodation

On 17 July 2020 the Defence Secretary and the Chancellor of the Exchequer jointly announced 200-million of new Government funding to improve accommodation for Service personnel. These exciting improvement works will take place over the next 18 months throughout the UK SFA estate. For details of these improvements and how these works will be carried out please read the Fiscal Stimulus update guidance (October 2020) (PDF, 162KB, 5 pages).

122-million investment will deliver 800 properties, improving 2,700 properties, increase energy efficiency, improvements to lived environment for example 16 roads, solar panels and replacing 20 older play parks.

Fiscal funding infographic. DIO Crown Copyright 2020.

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Coronavirus latest news as of 21 August 2020

Moving back into SFA in the UK from an overseas posting

If you are returning to the UK from a country that is currently exempt from the governments up to date list of Coronavirus (COVID-19): travel corridors and moving into SFA then you must appoint a proxy to undertake the Move In appointment on your behalf whilst you are in the quarantine period.

Reopening of Playparks

DIO recognise that playparks are hugely important to families and we are pleased that they will be reopened across SFA estates, in line with current Government COVID 19 guidance:

  • Scotland: All play parks to be open by COP Friday 10 July
  • England: All play parks to be open by COP Friday 10 July
  • Northern Ireland: All play parks to be open by COP Friday 10 July
  • Wales: All play parks to be open on 19 July.

Statutory and Mandatory Safety Checks and Service Family Accommodation

It is vital that we provide serving personnel and their families with safe, compliant and well-maintained homes. Amey will continue to carry out statutory and mandatory safety checks, response and pre-planned maintenance, and grounds maintenance across the SFA estate in line with government and Health and Safety Executive advice.

We understand the concerns service families may have at this difficult time and it is important that they understand how safety checks on their home will be managed. We have therefore worked with Amey to produce an animation to reassure families that the safety of occupants and operatives is a priority when checks are carried out to keep their homes safe.

Transcript for Transcript for Help us to help you: what to expect when an Amey engineer visits your home video (ODT, 8.52KB).

DIO Accommodation has developed a Housing Recovery Plan that we are keen to share with you which focuses on 3 key areas of service delivery:

  • the regeneration of house moves from 15 June 2020
  • the recovery of outstanding Statutory and Mandatory safety testing
  • the reactivation of housing project works and minor works, together with the delivery of a full response maintenance service.

We have updated our Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to cover each activity.

Regeneration of assignments

You will have heard the recent announcements in relation to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions on moving house in England. These create the conditions for people to move house with immediate effect within the private and social housing market sectors if they so wish.

This, together with recent TLB announcements on the phased regeneration of service personnel assignments from 1 July, provides the authority for DIO Accommodation to recommence delivery of a timely SFA allocation and move-in/out service. However, all questions in relation to assignment dates, should be directed to the Service Manning Authorities in the first instance.

We are working closely with all TLBs, our Industry Partners Amey and Mears, and DE&S who manage the Agility removals service to ensure that our service delivery fully supports the Defence requirement. In essence, Assignment Orders received prior to lockdown will remain valid, albeit deferred by 3 months. Consequently, Service personnel who were due to be assigned in April will be first to move in July, followed by May movers in August, and June movers in September.

We fully acknowledge that the 3 month delay will have impacted on family circumstances, and may have an associated impact on pre-Covid-19 housing plans. Moreover, the government announcement on moving home in England provides scope for single services to consider bringing forward some moves within England to June. Taken together, these new measures will require delivery plans to remain agile and adaptable. DIO Accommodation will therefore continue to work closely with the TLBs to ensure that SFA homes can be prepared, on time, to meet the demand, and that the removals service is appropriately aligned.

Due to the backlog of moves, our initial priority will be to meet the TLB requirement for entitled service family moves; this includes the call forward of families where service personnel have moved unaccompanied. In due course, Amey and Mears will contact service personnel to discuss their move.

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