You will have heard the recent announcements in relation to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions on moving house in England. These create the conditions for people to move house with immediate effect within the private and social housing market sectors if they so wish.
This, together with recent TLB announcements on the phased regeneration of Service personnel assignments from 1 July, provides the authority for DIO Accommodation to recommence delivery of a timely SFA allocation and move-in/out service. However, all questions in relation to assignment dates, should be directed to the Service Manning Authorities in the first instance.
We are working closely with all TLBs, our Industry Partners Amey and Mears, and DE&S who manage the Agility removals service to ensure that our service delivery fully supports the Defence requirement. In essence, Assignment Orders received prior to lockdown will remain valid, albeit deferred by 3 months. Consequently, Service personnel who were due to be assigned in April will be first to move in July, followed by May movers in August, and June movers in September.
We fully acknowledge that the 3 month delay will have impacted on family circumstances, and may have an associated impact on pre-Covid-19 housing plans. Moreover, the Government announcement on moving home in England provides scope for single Services to consider bringing forward some moves within England to June. Taken together, these new measures will require delivery plans to remain agile and adaptable. DIO Accommodation will therefore continue to work closely with the TLBs to ensure that SFA homes can be prepared, on time, to meet the demand, and that the removals service is appropriately aligned.
Due to the backlog of moves, our initial priority will be to meet the TLB requirement for entitled Service family moves; this includes the call forward of families where Service personnel have moved unaccompanied. In due course, Amey and Mears will contact Service personnel to discuss their move.
All other applications for SFA, such as betterment moves, or those from cohabitating couples, will be prioritised once the main moves for entitled personnel between July and September have been met; this will allow the surplus SFA position to be fully understood. However, we will consider Chain of Command supported SFA applications from eligible personnel on a case by case basis at any stage. In addition, all requests for retention of existing SFA will be considered in line with extant policy.
DIO and Amey will follow Government guidance on house moves to ensure the safety and protection of all concerned.
This is a complex and evolving situation for DIO and its Industry Partners to manage, and one that requires careful handling throughout. We will keep you fully informed of developments, and welcome your understanding at what we expect to be a very busy time. We will keep our FAQs updated to respond to queries and signpost to appropriate support mechanisms.