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Forces Accommodation

Volume 449: debated on Monday 24 July 2006

14. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the quality of maintenance of forces accommodation; and if he will make a statement. (87197)

The Government attach a high priority to the quality of life of Service personnel and their families and are committed to improving and maintaining the quality of accommodation provided to them to the highest standards.

Service Families Accommodation is graded into four categories for condition, and I can tell the House that 95 per cent. of our housing stock in Great Britain falls into the top two of those categories. We are aware that more needs to be done to improve our housing stock, and it is for that reason we have introduced Prime Contracting to cover all repairs and maintenance. One contract replaces 22 previous contracts. This should lead to improved standards of work and responsiveness and much higher levels of satisfaction for families.

For our single Service personnel, we have already delivered over 10,000 new single living bedspaces with en-suite facilities, and a further 21,000 are due to be completed by early 2008. This will provide a vastly improved estate.

In addition, I am also pleased to announce today that the MOD is entering into negotiations to extend the Single Living Accommodation Modernisation Project by a further 5 years from 2007, which is a further illustration of our commitment to improve the living standards for our single personnel. This second Phase will provide a minimum of 3,000 additional bedspaces and create a minimum of 100 apprenticeships within the Prime Contractor's supply chain.