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Armed Forces: Housing

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discount is offered to (a) service personnel and (b) service leavers living in properties owned by Annington Homes who wish to buy their accommodation. (203980)

The majority of service families accommodation (SFA) properties in England and Wales were sold to Annington Homes Ltd. (AHL) in 1996 under a sale and leaseback arrangement. When the Department no longer has a requirement for AHL properties, they are returned to AHL for disposal on the open market. Properties are unoccupied when they are returned to AHL.

While there is no obligation on AHL to offer discounts to current or former service personnel when selling its properties, it has in the past offered certain incentives, concessions or priority to personnel voluntarily. While there is no requirement on the Department to maintain a record of such sales, we understand that between 25 to 30 per cent. of properties have been sold in this way. We are exploring with Annington Homes what more can be done to help service leavers obtain accommodation.