Accommodation Matters By Stan Brathwaite, RAF FF Housing Specialist

Introduction – The most recent CarillionAmey fi gures (as at the end of 2016) show that their performance is close to or at the contracted levels and customer levels of satisfaction are up from 33% last April to 54% in December. However, the issues that continue to dominate my in-tray are again those of Move-in Standards, missed appointments and claims for compensation.

Over the winter months the usual problems with boilers and heating systems continued to be a cause of concern for some families but not as many as in the past. It’s taken over 2 years but the signs are that the CarillionAmey (CA) National Housing Prime contract is beginning to work as it should. That’s not much consolation for those of you who have still experienced problems with the service and we continue to keep the pressure on the contractor where needed, so please keep telling us about issues as they arise. The challenge now is to both sustain the performance improvement and make sure that future contracts learn from this experience and are more tautly written and managed.

Acouple of other points to note: •Based on an SFAcustomer engagement forum atamajor Army base,CAhas embraced the idea of more direct consultation with their top level managers on aregional basis.CAwill be looking to us to suggest RAF bases in ‘hotspots’ i.e. those that have had the poorest delivery of their services, that should be added to their list of locations to visit.

•Aswell as the established means of contacting CA, they have increased their capability and resources in Social Media, and are pleased by the take-up rate by families.

rate by families.

Allocation of Substitute Accommodation In the last issue of Envoy I mentioned that the Mears Group took over the contract that manages substitute accommodation on behalf of DIO. We have learned from DIO that there are a tiny number of families and single personnel that fi nd that substitute accommodation cannot be sourced to meet their ‘Required by Date’ (RBD). When this occurs the DIO Substitute Accommodation Team (SAT) offer temporary accommodation in the form of hotels, B&B or even ‘holiday

DIO is acutely aware of the importance of protecting the personal information of SFA occupants. The contract requires that MEL Research complies fully with the provisions of the Data Protection Act and, furthermore, only the details of the names and telephone numbers SFA occupants are passed to MEL Research in an encrypted format.

The Role of DIO in Europe DIO supports in excess of 1,000 military personnel, working and living in Europe, by providing SFA and SLA in 16 countries. DIO currently manages circa 934 SFA, nearly

lets’. These are invariably far from ideal and can create inconvenience and additional transport problems. The offer of temporary accommodation by the SAT is brought about by short notice of a new assignment and/or a delay by the serving person in raising an application for an SFA/ SLA. Therefore to avoid the allocation of ‘temporary accommodation’, personnel should submit their application in accordance with JSP 464. This requires that applications are made for SSSA at least 26 days in advance of the RBD.

DIO Surveys

The MOD Customer Satisfaction Survey for occupants of Service Family Accommodation (SFA) in the UK has been running since 2014. The survey, which is carried out by MEL Research (an independent company specialising in this type of work), seeks the views of 200 randomly selected SFA occupants each month. The results are used by both MOD and DIO to identify appropriate changes to SFA services to improve the ‘lived experience’.

Following discussions with single Service Housing Colonels, it has been agreed that

Housing Colonels, it has been agreed that the survey can be extended to capture the views of Service personnel in Germany.In due course, it may be possible to further extend the survey to capture the views of SFAoccupants in other parts of the world (e.g. Cyprus and Gibraltar).

Any SFAoccupant contacted by MEL Research is strongly encouraged to spend afew minutes with them to answer the questions, and therefore contribute to the Customer Satisfaction Survey.Please be open and honest in your responses as these will help to shape the future service delivery of SFA.

100 SLA spaces and other facilities such as the Bardufoss Training Area, the Naples School and St David’s School in Ramstein. Substitute Service Families Accommodation is privately rented in all locations and there are no Surplus SFA. Applicants receive one offer only, operating on a ‘one out, one in basis’ due to limitations of available properties. There are no ‘Patches’ as such as most properties rented are in the local community.

New CarillionAmey Portal I have had limited involvement with the evaluation of the new CarillionAmey Portal which was meant to be introduced at the end of January. It is a much needed tool which will empower customers

tool which will empower customers (Licensees) in new ways to manage SFA and housing services.

The refreshed e1132 application system will replace the currentMODe1132 system and will be available via the ‘Moving Home’ icon on the new CA portal. It is anticipated that you will also be able to log repair and maintenance jobs, book appointments and complete surveys online. More information will be provided once the new system is operating. Teething problems aside, this portal should improve and enhance the delivery of services by CA to the customer.Myonly reservation is that due to security implications, the portal will

due to security implications, the portal will only be available on the MODnet.

Finally, If you have or know of a military accommodation story that you would like to share with our readers, please contact us; we would love to hear from you. We also urge you to continue to contact us on any SFA/SLA issue that may be of burning concern to you; remember ‘silence is considered to be satisfaction’ so keep those examples coming – good or bad.

For more housing information:;

Spring 2017 Envoy 21

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