I AM currently a serving soldier of 15 years and am in a relationship with another Warrant Officer who I have been with for eight years.
We have a two-year-old daughter and have significant commitments – however, we are not married. My partner and daughter live in SFA, as she is PStat Cat 2.
Under current policy, as an unmarried couple, we cannot cohabit together in MOD property. Since my daughter was born, we have never been in a situation where we can fully cohabit and therefore the current regulations regarding visitors and guests have met our needs.
Due to future postings, we will have an opportunity to finally live as a family, but due to the current rules, my partner will have a house on the “married patch” and I will have to live in the WO’s and Sgts’ Mess.
It’s a totally ridiculous situation that I cannot live with my own family due to cohabiting rules.
Why can’t long-term non-married partners cohabit in the year 2015? The fact that I would not be taking housing off another eligible family or requesting an upgrade to SFA, nor demanding more from the system, makes my argument more credible.
I know there are a number of other couples currently caught in this situation. I hope the MOD will rectify and change this archaic rule.
Name and address supplied
Response from DPS(A): Current accommodation policy does not allow cohabitation in SFA. The MOD is aware that this does not fit with today’s lifestyles and, consequently, work is continuing on reassessing current accommodation policy with the 21st century family in mind. This work is looking at expanding entitlement to SFA, the extended family including young adults and elderly relatives and choice of accommodation. Affordability undoubtedly has a part to play: if policy was changed overnight to extend entitlement to SFA to cohabiting couples in long-term relationships, there would be a dramatic increase in the demand for SFA which would exceed supply.
Additionally, it is also very subjective when deciding how long a long-term relationship should be to become entitled to SFA.
It is acknowledged that the current set of PStat Cats do not fully provide for the wide range of categories that personnel fall into. However, making any changes to PStat Cats and the related entitlements can have a wide range of consequences.
These changes need to be analysed to ensure that any proposed change in policy is deliverable.