THE MOD has been examining how to modernise the way it provides accommodation to families. The current system works if you are married and living in Service Families Accommodation (SFA), but it doesn’t have the ability to accommodate anyone who falls outside of this group such as those in a long-term relationship who aren’t married but want to live together or divorced soldiers who want a stable home for their children to visit. AFF Housing Specialist Cat Calder has been finding out the details…
What are they looking at?
The MOD’s Future Accommodation Model (FAM) team is investigating how the system could be made fairer to support far more of you in the way you wish to live. It has been looking at ways to:
- Support more of you to buy your own home
- Enable you to choose more freely where, how and with whom you live by supporting you to live in the private sector with the help of a rental allowance
- Continue to provide support, both financial and non-financial, to enable you to live and work where you need to, in the UK and around the world. This will be done more fairly, with the level of support based on need and not entitlement, and adjusted so that no-one loses out just because they have to work in expensive areas
- Deliver an accommodation model that the MOD can support financially that also supports the Armed Forces in remaining operationally effective.
When will any changes happen?
Work is still in development, but it is anticipated that a trial will run in 2018.
If successful, the programme will be rolled out over a considerable period of time and will be a seismic change to the way we are used to being housed and will see a significant reduction in the allocation of SFA.
Many questions still to answer
AFF welcomes a review of the accommodation piece as there are many groups who don’t benefit from the current system.
There are, however, many questions which we need answers to such as:
- How much help will you be given to source a private rental (an issue if you are posted from a distance or are away on exercise/deployment at the time)?
- Will there be an effect on family morale if the patch support network is no longer there?
- How will welfare support be provided with families living away from camp?
- How will the rental market cope with the influx of MOD families?
- How will families cope with the loss of security of tenure for the period of a posting?
- How could this impact on children’s education?
- What financial help will those living in their own homes get?
- What changes will be made to allowances?
- Speak up and get involved
We are working very closely with the MOD to ensure that your needs and the needs of the Service aren’t lost in the desire to push any changes through.
If the FAM team approaches you throughout their consultation phase, I would encourage you to take part to ensure that your thoughts are included.
We will continue to present evidence to the FAM team on your behalf.
If you have any concerns or comments on the Future Accommodation Model, share your views with us via firstname.lastname@example.org
To have your say on the future of Army housing, complete AFF’s Big Survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/affbigsurvey2016 – closes 20 July.