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Wednesday 13th
posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

MILITARY families are “badly let down” by the MoD and a contractor’s substandard homes, senior MPs warned yesterday.

Carillion/Amey won a £1 billion contract to manage armed forces housing on behalf of the MoD but is leaving homes without heating, hot water or cooking facilities for extended periods of time, the public accounts committee found.

Some service personnel are forced to move because failure to make repairs and fix severe mould and damp had become too dangerous, the MPs said.

Lance Corporal Christopher Chell, his wife and five children were moved from a house in Exmouth to Aldershot because son Kyle — who had cancer — suffered fungal lung infections and pneumonia caused by black mould on the wall beside his bed, according to press reports from earlier this year.

The committee welcomed Defence Secretary Michael Fallon’s announcement in February that he was considering terminating the contract after branding the situation “unacceptable.”

The MoD awarded five-year contracts totalling £1.1bn to the company in 2014 to cover 49,000 sub-market rent homes in Britain and Northern Ireland.

Committee chair Meg Hillier said the MoD “seriously misjudged” Carillion/Amey’s capacity to deliver. The company accepts this is the case.

She added: “Reports of improvements in recent months are still to be verified and will be of little comfort to those who have borne the brunt of long-standing failure.”

The government’s obligation to provide military families with good quality and affordable accommodation is included in the Armed Forces Covenant.

Defence Minister Mark Lancaster said ministers would take action if the company did not improve.