1 in 3 service personnel in Swansea are living in the lowest grade of service accommodation, shocking figures have revealed.
MoD data uncovered by Labour shows that 1 in 3 service personnel in Swansea live in ‘Grade 4’ Single Living Accommodation, the lowest rating given by the Ministry of Defence.
Across the country, 40% of personnel living in Single Living Accommodation occupy ‘Grade 4’ accommodation.
A further 4,360 personnel live in accommodation so poor that no rental charge is levied. Just 21% live in the top ‘Grade 1’ accommodation, the lowest proportion since 2018.
The figures were obtained by Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey, who said Conservative Ministers were “failing in their duty to personnel, who are forced to live in discomfort as properties fall into disrepair.”
The Ministry of Defence awards grades to its Single Living Accommodation based on ‘deficiency points’ allocated across 14 categories. Points are apportioned for the condition of bedroom decoration, fixtures and fittings, adequacy of heating systems and the proximity of toilet and washing facilities, among other factors.
There is currently no minimum quality standard set for Single Living Accommodation and no minimum acceptable conditions that service personnel should expect. A 2021 National Audit Office report on Single Living Accommodation exposed ‘decades of underinvestment’ and ‘problems with heating and hot water.’
The Armed Forces Continuous Attitude survey reveals that 41% of tri-service personnel live in Single Living Accommodation during the working week.
The same survey shows 40% of tri-service personnel were dissatisfied with the overall standard of their accommodation. A majority of 52% said they were dissatisfied with the responses to maintenance request and repairs.
Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey said: “The Conservatives are failing in their duty to our Armed Forces, who are forced to live in discomfort as properties fall into disrepair.
“The standard of accommodation has been consistently low and getting worse under this government yet nothing’s changed. These conditions wouldn’t be acceptable in civilian life, and they certainly aren’t acceptable for actively serving personnel.
“The government must deliver homes fit for those serving our country.”
Tonia Antoniazzi, MP for Gower said: “Our Armed Forces should have homes fit for heroes, but these shocking figures reveal the state of their accommodation in Swansea.
“After 12 years in government it should shame Conservative Ministers that our country’s Forces have to put up with such poor conditions.
“Labour stands foursquare behind our armed forces, and I will continue to fight to make sure personnel get the standard of accommodation they deserve.