Our Big Survey 2020 asked families to share their views about the Future Accommodation Model – the future of housing for Army families. We heard from spouses and partners, Service personnel and dual serving families.
The survey focused on:
- the experiences of families living within the Aldershot FAM pilot area
- all Army families’ general views on the FAM programme.
The survey found that whilst FAM offered greater choice for some families, there remained concern about its compatibility with a mobile Army lifestyle.
Service Family Accommodation remains important for Army families
If the availability of SFA was reduced, 49% of families told us they would consider leaving the Army, and 26% said they would definitely leave.
One family told us, “SFA is a large part of what attracts my family to the Army. It provides support whilst I am deployed and is a familiar environment when moving around. I would leave if my family could not have the ease of moving which SFA provides.”
Patches provide informal welfare support
More than two-thirds of respondents (70%) said that the removal of the patch would have either some or a significant negative impact on their ability to cope with frequent moves. A similar number thought it would have an impact on their ability to cope if the Service person was deployed on exercises and operations.
One family said: “Having a house that is in good condition and appropriate for your needs close to your work with a ready-made community ready to welcome you removes so much stress from the assignment process.”
Families were clear that, if offered a choice of housing under FAM, the majority would choose SFA.
Lack of communication
The survey found that 82% of respondents said they had received little or no communication about FAM. Spouses/partners felt less informed than personnel.
Positives and negatives
Families felt that the positives were that FAM widens the entitlement to unmarried families and offers more choice, but the negatives were that it doesn’t work for families who face frequent mobility and it removes the community many rely on for support.
AFF is working with the chain of command and the MOD to ensure that those involved in the FAM policy understand the evidence and views from Army families.
POSTED ON 27 JANUARY 2021