Military families are being ‘failed’ by ministers as complaints about damp and mouldy homes have increased by 40 per cent this year – with thousands left in unsuitable conditions this winter.
Some 3,770 complaints have been made to Pinnacle, which runs the national complaint service centre, since April – an average of 471 a month. This is up from 2,684 complaints in the same period last year.
Furious personnel and their loved ones have broken ranks to share pictures online of the shameful state of their homes, with a veteran British Army General branding the UK’s woeful military housing stock ‘truly appalling’ and ‘not fit for a dog’.
Thousands of families who were promised ‘mitigation works’ to prepare for this winter will also not see their homes repaired, according to data seen by the Daily Mail.
It comes after defence minister James Cartlidge announced a ‘winter planning’ package last month to ensure contractors were ‘prepared for winter this year’.
The money would ‘fund damp and mould mitigation packages for around 4,000 families who currently have a damp and mould report raised, representing around 60 per cent of all properties requiring such work.’
But just 1,200 have had the necessary work completed to date, with ministers admitting refits would not be finished in 700 of the homes until next April at the earliest.
Labour’s Shadow Armed Forces Minister Luke Pollard said: ‘The Conservatives are failing our forces and their families daily with the dire state of service family accommodation.
‘Now ministers have admitted that their winter plan to help families through the coldest months won’t even fully deliver until spring. It beggars belief.’
‘A Labour government will ensure our service people have homes fit for heroes and legislate to establish an Armed Forces Commissioner to act as a strong, independent voice for personnel and their families.’
Among the images shared online by families included one by a heavily pregnant woman whose roof was leaking, and another by a mother who claimed her house had been plagued by mould for months.
One person wrote on X: ‘6 months pregnant with a 4-year-old but still not a priority to sort the mould out… 3 months after being re done it’s back again and worse than ever!
‘Both bathrooms now full of mould despite having the extractor fans replaced and used daily.’
In a separate post, a third person’s military home even appeared to have a tree branch growing through a crack in the wall, which they claimed had been a problem since September, last year.
They wrote on X: ‘Posting a new picture every week until @PinnacleSF and @VIVODefence stop ”escalating it” and actually do something about it…week 3 of photos but been an issue since Sep 2022.’