§ Lord Gainford
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What plans they have for the future of the defence married quarters estate.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Viscount Cranborne)
In February 1992, my right honourable 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 servicemen and servicewomen. Servicemen and servicewomen would continue to pay rents for their married quarters at levels recommended by the armed forces pay review body. We have been giving this proposal detailed consideration. We 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.