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Defence

UK Armed Forces and families provided 1,000+ refurbished homes

Over a thousand properties have been brought back into use for the Armed Forces and their families thanks to a £400 million investment in military accommodation.

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Over a thousand properties have been brought back into use for the Armed Forces and their families thanks to £400 million investment in military accommodation.

The programme of extensive refurbishments to long-term, so called ‘void’ houses, launched in September last year following a £400 million additional investment by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) into military homes.

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The programme of works has allowed the MoD to significantly increase the number of high-quality homes available to service families.

Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge, said: "Improving accommodation for our service personnel and their families is a top priority – that’s why we are investing an additional £400 million into maintaining and upgrading homes.

"I am grateful for the collaborative work between the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and contractors to ensure as many of our people as possible have access to high-quality homes, which will include damp and mould improvements to around 5,000 properties."

One beneficiary of the refurbishment programme has been Corporal Tom Amponsah-Dadzie, who serves with the Royal Logistic Corps. He has recently moved, along with his wife and children, into one of the newly available properties in Aldershot, Hampshire. He said: "This new home is one of the best places I have ever lived in - I can’t express the reaction on the face of my wife when she saw the house for the first time. She couldn’t stop talking about it, she took so many pictures of everywhere. But not only her, my Army friends when they come to visit always ask if this is a military house. They keep thinking it’s a newly purchased home.

"On a personal level, living in a house like this brings excitement and peace to my life. Coming home makes me happy. The house allows me to sleep well at night and gives me peace of mind during the day so I can carry out my job effectively."

The houses that have benefited from the refurbishments were previously deemed uninhabitable, primarily due to their age and condition. The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), working alongside contractors VIVO Defence Services and Amey, have carried out the works with funds prioritised for accommodation, allocated through last year’s Defence Command Paper Refresh.

Over a thousand properties across the UK, including 142 in Tidworth, Wiltshire; 134 in Aldershot, Hampshire; 48 in Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, and 41 in Catterick, Yorkshire, have all now undergone the extensive work needed to bring them back to the required standard. Works varied from new kitchens and bathrooms to new boilers carpets and curtains.

A number of properties have had a full refurbishment, including rewiring, new heating, new doors and windows, internal redecoration work and external work to outside spaces. All completed houses are now warm, comfortable, safe, more energy efficient and, most importantly, available to military personnel and their families.

In addition to the refurbishment, DIO is also carrying out work to more than 4,000 properties to improve their thermal efficiency. New doors, windows, roofs, and external wall insulation will act to prevent issues with damp and mould and reduce the overall cost of living for service families.

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Phil Riley, Director of Accommodation at DIO, said: "Improving the standard of Service Family Accommodation is my top priority, I’m delighted to see the tremendous work that has been done to ensure high-quality homes have been made available to our service families.

"These high-standard refurbishments, along with the steps taken to improve ventilation and thermal efficiency, are making Service family homes more energy efficient and resilient to issues such as damp and mould. DIO will continue to work closely and collaboratively with our contractors to build on the progress made."

Jerry Moloney, Managing Director of VIVO Defence Services, said: "We at VIVO are very proud of the part we have played bringing such a quantity of previously uninhabitable homes back into use.

"Our teams have worked at exceptional pace since last summer transforming these unused properties into high-quality, energy efficient homes, ready for Service personnel and their families to move into."

Tom Silvey, Business Director Defence at Amey said: "Amey is proud to have demonstrated consistently high standards throughout an extremely challenging programme. The properties have been expertly refurbished in the Central and North regions, increasing the housing options for Service families and providing comfortable and modern homes that are sustainable for the long-term.

"We are now building on this success by piloting an initiative across our contracts that will see additional staff specifically tasked with managing voids. This will reduce turnaround times and ensure quicker delivery of homes for families."

Of the thousand homes, VIVO Defence has refurbished 667 homes across southeast and southwest England and Amey has completed 195 across the central and northern regions. Due to the large number of refurbishments works to be completed in a short timeframe, DIO engaged Mitie to deliver 180 in the North and Central Regions.

In addition to the refurbishment programme, Amey has carried out External Wall Insulation (EWI) to hundreds of homes across sites in Woodbridge, East Anglia; Catterick, North Yorkshire and Old Dalby, East Midlands.

 

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