HC Deb 31 March 1993 vol 222 c195W
Dr. Blackburn

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on future plans for the defence married quarters estate.

Mr. Archie Hamilton

In February 1992, my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Defence announced that the Ministry of Defence's housing task force had recommended that in order to provide a more responsive and cost-effective housing service for service personnel, the ownership and management of the Department's stock of married quarters in mainland Great Britain should be transferred to a new, non-profit making body in the private sector. The prospective transfer offered the prospect of providing a better planned, better maintained married quarters estate for our service men and service women. Service men and service women would continue to pay rents for their married quarters at levels recommended by the Armed Forces Pay Review Body. My Department has been giving this proposal detailed consideration. I now propose to establish a non-profit making housing trust with a view to negotiating the terms of any eventual transfer to it of a long lease of the married quarters estate. Further detailed work will be required to evaluate and develop the concept before a final decision is taken on how best to proceed.