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Armed Forces: Housing

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department’s policy is on disposing of homes which have become surplus to the needs of forces personnel; and if he will make a statement. (197417)

The majority of Service Family Accommodation (SFA) properties in England and Wales were sold to Annington Homes Ltd. (AHL) in 1996 and then leased to the Ministry of Defence (MOD). When they become surplus to defence requirements the properties are handed back to AHL for disposal.

Other surplus SFA in the UK is usually sold on the open market to achieve best value in accordance with Treasury guidelines, unless they are required by other public bodies (e.g. English Partnerships, Scottish Executive) or there are former owner (Crichel Down) considerations.

Where the opportunity exists for a bulk sale of SFA at market value, MOD will discuss the way forward with the local authority and registered social landlords.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many homes his Department sold in each local authority area of Scotland in each year since 1997; and what proportion of those homes were sold or otherwise transferred to the relevant local authority or a registered social landlord in each of those years. (197418)

Records of all Service housing sold in Scotland since 1997 are either not held centrally or no longer available. It will take a time to establish what information can be provided without incurring disproportionate cost and effort. I will write to the hon. Member.