‘Military housing still needs to be improved’

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EFFORTS to improve military housing have failed and ministers must set out what alternative arrangements are available given the ‘dismal track record’ of the main contract, MPs have said.

Despite interventions by ministers and an improvement plan with contractors CarillionAmey, the Commons Defence Committee said military families were still dissatisfied with their housing,

MPs said the Ministry of Defence (MoD) should continue to ‘consider its options’ with CarillionAmey, whose performance was last year described as ‘totally unacceptable’ in a separate report.

The warning comes just weeks after an investigation by The News revealed the woeful state of military homes in Hampshire, with almost 2,000 repair jobs having been backlogged, leaving some families without hot water and heating for months.

The defence committee called for the creation of a new minister with responsibility for the Armed Forces Covenant, which covers the state’s duty to look after the welfare of military personnel.

The report also called on the government to reduce ‘barriers to care’ for veterans seeking mental health treatment, and introduce targets to bring down delays in referral.

CarillionAmey said in a statement: ‘Although the performance of our contracts was not satisfactory in early 2016, subsequent improvement plans quickly brought performance in line with contract requirements, and in places is exceeding requirements.’

It added complaints ‘were falling’ and that it would ‘continue to work hard to improve the experience’ for service personnel.