Ministry of Defence admits problems with accommodation for military families

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has admitted that there are “serious problems” with the standards of some accommodation for Armed Forces staff.

The admission came after the Army’s head of personnel pledged to fight for better housing for soldiers.

Lieutenant General Freddie Viggers, the Adjutant General, told BBC News that defence chiefs must “fight our corner… to get our families what they deserve”.

The BBC published photos of barracks and shower blocks with cracked walls, mildew and broken pipes.

The MoD insisted only 5% of services accommodation was sub-standard, but conceded that it had lots of work to do.

A spokesman said: “Lieutenant General Viggers was speaking on behalf of the MoD. We accept that there are serious problems with some service accommodation, but much of it is of a high quality. We’re working hard to deal with that which doesn’t meet the high standards we set.”

Last month, retired general Sir Mike Jackson hit out at soldiers’ accommodation when he deliverred the annual Dimbleby lecture.

He spoke of a “Kafka-esque situation whereby the MoD congratulates itself on achieving an accommodation improvement plan defined by itself on what it calls affordability, but which is far from what is defined by the needs of soldiers and their families”.

The MoD said it spent £700m on housing and accommodation last year, and expects to spend £5bn in the next decade.

In 2005-06, it modernised and upgraded 1,705 family homes. In 2006-07, it aims to upgrade another 1,200.

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