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Defence Housing

Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will make a statement on the procedure for the sale of his Department's housing by the Defence Housing Executive; whether the procedure is uniform to all the nations in the UK; and if he will make a statement; [108839](2) what discounts

(a) service personnel and (b) ex-service personnel are eligible for under the sales procedures of the Defence Housing Executive; what the minimum eligibility requirements are; and if he will make a statement. [108840]

Most of the Service family housing in England and Wales was sold in 1996 to a private company, Annington Homes Ltd., under a sale and leaseback agreement. Under the agreement, houses which subsequently become surplus to Defence requirements are released to Annington's for disposal. The identification of surplus properties for release is a matter for the department, but the method of subsequent disposal or usage by Annington's is entirely a matter for the company, based on their commercial judgment.The Ministry of Defence retains responsibility for the disposal of all family quarters in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and a few outside the Annington sale and leaseback deal in England and Wales. When properties in this category become surplus to predicted long term requirement, they are sold in accordance with Treasury guidelines which stipulate that Departments should obtain the best possible price for surplus publicly-owned assets. They are usually offered for sale on the open market at market price.