The ever changing shape of the UK’s Armed Forces has resulted in some unit establishments increasing over the past couple of years.

Within Lincolnshire, this has meant an associated uplift in the requirement for Service Families Accommodation (SFA) for RAF Waddington and RAF Coningsby. Where SFA could not be provided, Substitute Service Family Accommodation (SSFA) has been used but this has on many occasions been difficult to source, particularly to the correct scale and standard and this solution is expensive in the long term.

A capital purchase programme is currently underway to buy new properties direct from Housing Developers in areas of high demand where the MOD still have an enduring requirement – thereby creating new SFA ‘patches’ of high quality modern service homes. The DIO Ops Accn Accommodation Plans and Requirements team, heavily support by the DIO Ops Land Management Services team have had the task of scouring the country to identify developments in target areas. This has been a complex process with little or no publicity to ensure the best deals and value to the public purse could be achieved.

The capital purchases within the Lincolnshire area cover;

Lincoln (Linden Homes) – RAF Waddington – 70 properties

North Hykeham (Kings Court) – RAF Waddington – 43 properties

Horncastle – RAF Coningsby – 4 properties

Sleaford (De Vessey) – RAF Coningsby – 25 properties

The number of properties purchased have been decided in conjunction with the Service Planning Assumptions for each of these units. All of the properties will form part of the DIO Operations Accommodation core housing stock and will include an ‘MOD fit out’ to include items normally highlighted during grading. All properties will be graded prior to move in with DIO Ops Accn and a station representative to ensure the correct grade is awarded. Whilst not all of the properties will have attached or block garages, there will be designated parking for two vehicles. It will be MHS and not developers who will undertake all maintenance. The properties will be handed over between now and March 2014.

Priority for the allocation of these properties will be given to personnel posted into either RAF Waddington or RAF Coningsby in the first instance, followed by an aspiration to invite some of the families currently in SSFA back into SFA at their duty station subject to availability. The purchase of these properties will not negate the need to house individuals on other stations in accordance with JSP 464, Part 1 but it will hopefully give a little more capacity in the availability of SFA at those units currently being used as the overflow for Waddington and Coningsby. This in turn should give families more choice in future under the Self preference allocation system. In addition to this, any families living away from their duty station may request a betterment move at personal expense by submitting an E1132. Such requests will not take precedence over new postings or supported welfare moves and the HASC will hold a waiting list to allocate on a first come, first served basis. For this reason, there are no guarantees that applications for a betterment move will be successful.

When these properties come ‘on line’ during 2013 and early 2014 they will provide a significant improvement for Service families as well as a positive step in dealing with the increased demand for Service Families Accommodation in Lincolnshire.