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New Housing Services for Military Families in Wales Come into Force


New contracts that will provide crucial accommodation services to Armed Forces families across Wales, have begun.

They are among five contracts awarded last June by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to provide a new national call centre and enhanced maintenance and repair services to military homes across the UK.

The contracts to provide repair and maintenance services to Service family homes in the Central Region, which covers Mid and South Wales, and the Northern Region, which includes North Wales, were both awarded to Amey. The two contracts represent a total of approximately £11m investment in services for military homes across Wales.

In addition to the core services, the regional contracts will also deliver improvement projects and refurbishment work to homes, with an estimated value of £15m in Mid and South Wales and £4m in North Wales.

The contracts are part of the Ministry of Defence’s £3bn Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) programme, which has replaced the previous National Housing Prime contract, and will provide a step-change in how housing services are delivered to military families across the UK.

In developing the new contracts, DIO collaborated closely with military personnel, their families and the Service Families Federations to ensure that their needs were fully considered.

The new contracts offer incentives to suppliers to ensure that the interests of families come first. This includes providing ‘first time fixes’ and quicker response times for repairs to reduce disruption. They also require suppliers to adopt recognised industry standards and put in place robust mechanisms to address poor performance.

As well as the regional repair and maintenance contracts coming into service, from today, Pinnacle Group Ltd will operate the National Service Centre, which will be the single point of contact for Service families. The £141m contract is expected to create or sustain 350 jobs nationally. It will deliver more responsive and accessible accommodation services through greater use of modern communications technology. Families will be able to make service requests and track their progress in real time and will also have more choice when arranging appointments.

Air Commodore James Savage, DIO Head of Accommodation, said:

“Our Armed Forces and their families have no real choice where they serve, no matter how remote, and when and how frequently they move, so it’s vital we ensure their homes are of the right quality and available for them wherever and whenever they are assigned.

“Their needs must be at the heart of what we do.

“These contracts are designed to be very different. They have been developed with Service Personnel and families firmly in mind to better meet their needs.

“Enhancing customer service will be their focus, with clear customer satisfaction targets for suppliers to meet, financial consequences for falling short and incentives to exceed the minimum standards.”

Peregrine Lloyd, Group Chief Executive of Pinnacle Group, said:

“This significant and essential contract, designed to improve the way Service families access and receive housing accommodation support and services, has been carefully planned in collaboration with all our delivery partners. We are now proud to be acting as the single point of customer contact and reassurance for the management of 49,000 Service Family Accommodation homes across the UK.

“We understand the importance of high-quality housing services and the impact this has on the wellbeing of Armed Forces personnel and their families. With over 25 years of service delivery experience, we are well positioned to deliver best in class services and are deeply committed to the success of this contract. We have invested substantially in the new National Service Centre in Liverpool, where we will deliver the digital platform designed to integrate all housing management and repair aspects of our work. We will also maintain our focus on customer responsive from our nationwide network of service hubs.”

Tom Silvey, Amey Operations Director, said:

“As the incumbent contractor on the MOD housing contract we are feeling incredibly optimistic about the changes FDIS will bring for military individuals and their families, and our people who provide services to them.

“We’re fully committed to putting families at the heart of what we do and have been working hard over the last six months to transform the skills and behaviours of our people. We’ll also be working hard to create better links with forces communities across the central and north regions and will be partnering with organisations such as e50k to improve the local environment and create opportunity and prosperity wherever we can.”

Each contract is for seven year’s duration with an option to extend for up to three years, depending on contractor performance.

Over the last two financial years, DIO has spent £350m on improvement works to its housing stock and plans to deliver a further £171m worth of upgrades this financial year.

Business News Wales