MoD warned over delays on housing

Updated: 
Ministry of DefenceThe Ministry of Defence is being urged by MPs to resume work improving and modernising armed forces housing amid concerns that delays could damage morale.

The Commons Defence Committee said a three-year stoppage in the upgrade programme, announced earlier this year, sent the "wrong signal" to service personnel and their families.

The committee said it was "unacceptable" that more than 60% of the forces' single living accommodation was rated as not being in a satisfactory condition and that the MoD was unable to say when the situation would be rectified.The Armed Forces Covenant - MOD home

It said service personnel regarded the provision of decent housing as "fundamental" to the Armed Forces Covenant - setting out the nation's obligations to its fighting men and women - and that delaying upgrade work was a "false economy".

"The announcement sent out the wrong signal to armed forces personnel about the importance the Government attached to the Armed Forces Covenant," the committee said.

"We recommend that the MoD look again urgently at the stoppage and consider whether the increased long-term cost that is likely to accrue from this policy means that it is making a decision on a false economy and whether it should find the additional resources required to reinstate the upgrade programme."

The committee said that the MoD needed to devise a well thought-through communications plan to explain to families exactly what was being done about their accommodation.

Committee chairman James Arbuthnot said: "Given the fragility of morale, we recommend that the MoD should use a more effective communications strategy to keep service families in the picture."

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