To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his policy regarding the sale of ex-Ministry of Defence housing; and whether any changes have occurred to this policy in the last 10 years.
§ Mr. Archie Hamilton
[holding answer 20 March 1991]: Surplus service married quarters which are capable of individual sale are normally offered for sale to serving service personnel at a 30 per cent. discount. Surplus civilian dwellings which are capable of individual sale are normally offered for sale to the civilian occupant at a discount of up to 60 per cent; the difference in discount follows from the service personnel's discount being taxable whereas the discount available to a civilian is not. As an exceptional measure, civilian tenants of surplus service married quarters may be allowed to purchase at a discount of 30 per cent. Surplus housing which is not offered for sale through either of the two discount schemes is normally sold on the open market to the highest bidder. Exceptionally, private treaty sales—for example to a housing association—may be agreed provided that an open market sale is not likely to achieve a higher price; in such cases the price is determined by the district valuer. Apart from the introduction of the civilian discount scheme in 1980 and the service scheme in 1983, there have been no other changes to our disposal policy in the last 10 years.