Information for families during the coronavirus outbreak


01   Impact of Covid-19 rates on SFA repairs and maintenance

With the current high rates of COVID-19 throughout the UK, where DIO and its industry partners’ resources are affected by staff self-isolating, housing teams may be granted – on a case-by-case basis – extra time to complete repairs. This may result in timescales for repairs and maintenance work being extended in exceptional circumstances as follows:

  • Urgent calls – may be increased by up to four working days after the requested appointment (excluding the date of the revised appointment)
  • Routine calls – may be increased by up to 10 working days after the requested date of the appointment (excluding the date of the revised appointment)
  • Wind and weather calls – may be increased by up to 15 working days (excluding the date of the revised appointment)

Any delays to critical calls will be avoided wherever possible and there will be no changes to emergency call deadlines.

DIO and its industry partners will continue to maintain COVID-19 safe working practices when working in SFA/SSFA. Contractors will:

  • Call in advance to make sure you’re not self-isolating
  • Wear a face mask
  • Sanitise their hands and equipment before entering the property
  • Practise social distancing.

For more guidance on COVID-19 safe working practices in SFA/SSFA refer to the guidance on gov.uk

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02   Working safely on the SFA estate

DIO and Amey are focussed on providing the full range of accommodation services, while ensuring the safety of Service families and their own staff.

As an Army family you can play your part if you need Amey to visit your SFA – when you contact the Amey call centre regarding repairs or maintenance to your SFA, you must inform staff if anyone in your household is self-isolating or has COVID-19 symptoms.

In addition, Amey staff will follow Government guidelines Working safely during COVID-19 in other people’s homes and protect families’ health and safety by:

  • Confirming in advance whether anyone at the property is self-isolating or social distancing
  • Wearing appropriate PPE, including a face covering, in your home
  • Washing hands for 20 seconds or more using soap and warm water at the nearest available hand wash basin on arrival and before departure
  • Using anti-bacterial alcohol-based hand gel where there are no hand washing facilities
  • Wearing an ID card in a visible position
  • Remaining more than two metres from other people
  • Asking occupants to move to another room/area while the work is carried out
  • Cleaning tools and equipment using sanitisation spray or wipes.

Further details on how Amey will carry out repairs, maintenance and mandatory checks in your home, fully in line with Government and devolved administration advice, can be viewed in this video animation.

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03   Moving back into SFA in the UK from an overseas posting?

If you are returning to the UK from a country that is not currently on the Government’s up to date list of Coronavirus (COVID-19): travel corridors and moving into SFA then you must appoint a proxy to undertake the move-in appointment on your behalf whilst you are in the quarantine period.

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04   Removals – packing boxes

Normal removals policy is that the MOD pays for a full pack and unpack service for families – there is no requirement for families to pack anything prior to the removals team arriving and therefore there is no contractual obligation for packing boxes to be delivered to you before the day.

Should you have an exceptional need to pack earlier (for example, to help children with additional needs), you need to discuss this with the removals company and, in these situations, boxes will be provided

Historically some companies have, as a goodwill gesture and at their own expense, dropped off boxes if they have been in the area and may well still be able to do this if requested, however, it is not a requirement for them to do so.

COVID-19 has presented some complications to the moving process and as a result (as of 24 June 2020) the removals team is not able to touch some high risk of infection items, i.e. unwashed clothes, and it is requested that these items are placed in plastic bags on the day of the move so that they can be safely placed in boxes by the removal team. This is basically the used bed linen and towels from the night before and any unwashed clothes so it shouldn’t be more than a maximum of two large plastic bags (bin bags would be ideal).

The removal team will provide cartons and wardrobe boxes on the day of the move and it is requested that the family member remaining in the house places all clothes in these during the packing process.

AFF understands that many families want to get ahead of the game by packing items themselves but would ask for understanding of the contract and of the pandemic situation. With many moves taking place over the next few months there will always be new families on the patch who have boxes they can pass on to you so if you need boxes do try this approach first.

See the Agility website for the most up-to-date information and guidance on packing – scroll down and click on Agility – Covid19 Operating ConditionsV3.2FINAL – 240520.pdf

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05   Joint Service Housing Advice Office

The Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) is currently unable to receive paper applications for the MOD Referral Scheme. Please send any applications to RC-Pers-JSHAO-0Mailbox@mod.gov.uk

Further information on the scheme can be found here

Due to new working patterns as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, the JSHAO landline contact numbers (Civ: 01252 787574 and Mil: 94222 7574) can no longer be staffed. If you do need to get in touch please use the mobile number 07814 612120.

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06   Disturbance Expense

Please see our allowances page for more information.

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07   Families living in SSFA

Please see the Gov.uk website for all information.

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