Royal Air Force News Friday, July 16, 2021 P16
Feature Future Accommodation Model
ARMED FORCES ● Radical shake-up plan in the pipeline ● Money to rent or buy your own home ● Singles & couples included in scheme ● Need and not rank the deciding factor
HOMES PLAN: Choice is key
ORCES PERSONNEL and their families could receive monthly cash payments to buy their own homes and rent on the private market under radical plans to overhaul military housing. The accommodation revolution will also see existing rank-based systems scrapped, assessments made on family size and existing entitlements extended to include single airmen and women and those in long-term relationships. The proposals follow three ongoing trials at RAF Wittering, HMNB Clyde and Aldershot Garrison as part of the MoD’s Future Accommodation Model (FAM)pilot. PRIVATE SECTOR: Help for personnel to buy or rent The programme was launched in 2015 Single personnel will also be able to pool as part of a Security and Defence Review pledge to improve the military work-life their FAM allowances and live with their balance and reflect changes in modern pals in the property of their choice. If the Future Accommodation relationships and families. Model proposals are approved A survey conducted as part of the the changes could be rolled review revealed that more than 90 per cent of personnel said good ove out across the RAF by m is h T 2023, according to Service quality housing is the most important feature of Forces life. is long overdue housing chiefs. FAM will offer greater choice and will be a real ir Cdre Alan Opie said: to married couples, those in “This move is long civil partnerships and anyone game changer overdue and will be a real currently in Single Living le p eo p r u o game changer for our people Accommodation, it will also for – particularly those in longwiden entitlement to include those term relationships who are not personnel in long-term relationships, married or in civil partnerships, and Defence chiefs say. single people who are not supported by the lso included are military renters who existing model. could receive individually-calculated “FAM is all about giving people choice monthly payments based on the cost of over where, how and with whom they live. housing in their area and other factors, It’s giving them so much more choice and such as the number of children living at the flexibility. property. “They can move to a location that
suits their family better, rent in the private market or buy a property. “If they want an extra bedroom because they have caring responsibilities then they can take their allowance and add to it to increase the size of their home.” Rank-based assessments will be scrapped under the FAM system for those happy to remain in Service accommodation and be replaced with payments based on family size. Huge differences in property prices across the UK will also be taken into account
VISION: Air Cdre Alan Opie
with a new ‘Geographic payment’ to balance individual contributions with the costs of Service family accommodation, Air Cdre Opie said.
he housing revamp is expected to deliver savings to the MoD, which hopes to offset the cost of widening eligibility by reducing infrastructure costs, reduce need to build new accommodation and drive down management and maintenance costs. Air Cdre Opie added: “We hope to deliver what our young people expect from a modern next-generation Air Force. “It helps them balance their family lives with their jobs in the Service. It is not driven by marital status or rank, as it traditionally has been. “If the FAM proposals are approved, we will be pushing for a roll-out across the Service in April 2023 and we are doing all we can to ensure we can achieve that target date. “It will contribute towards retention of our people and is the most significant change to the way we provide accommodation in the 40 years I have been in the RAF. “FAM will enhance our operational capability by giving people more choice, which will enable us to have flexibility and make better use of our highlytrained personnel.” The housing shake-up follows a range of changes to working regulations Air Chiefs hope will boost recruitment and encourage existing personnel to stay in the Armed Forces, including flexible working hours, cheaper child care, changes to pay and allowances and improved career management.