Service Family Accommodation (SFA)

Update (Jan 22) - Facebook live with Head of DIO

Update: 12th January, 2022


James Savage, the Head of Accommodation at the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and the Army Families Federation (AFF) jointly hosted a live session on Facebook on behalf of the Naval and RAF Families Federations.


The session provided information to the new FDIS contracts as well as answered some questions that you may have.


You can watch the recording here.  

Update (Jan 22) - Change of in-service date

Update: 14th January, 2022


A message from DIO’s Head of Accommodation, Air Commodore James Savage:


We are currently preparing for the introduction of the new Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) Accommodation contracts that will replace the National Housing Prime (NHP) contract and will fulfil the Defence requirement for the delivery of effective and responsive accommodation services for Service personnel and their families. More information about FDIS and the new suppliers can be found here.


The new contracts are due to come into service on 1 March 2022 and DIO and its partners have been working towards this date. However, a risk has emerged that some of the key IT systems on which FDIS would depend might not be ready to deploy on 1 March 2022.


Although this risk is not high, DIO and our suppliers are committed to putting the interests of Service families first and it is crucial that we get this right, because improving the lived experience for families is at the heart of the new contracts. Therefore, we are seeking formal approval to change the in-service date by a month to 1 April 2022, in order to ensure the new systems are fully ready.


Although the approval process will take a little time, we have agreed with Amey and MOD Head Office that we should extend the current National Housing Prime Contract to 31 March 2022 to ensure that we can continue to deliver services in the meantime. An early decision was necessary to ensure Amey could give its supply chain adequate notice. The proposed change to the in-service date of FDIS should then allow time to ensure all of the key systems are fully tested and proved prior to going live. We will provide a further update once the approvals process has completed.


Accommodation is such an important part of family life for Service personnel, which is why we collaborated closely with representatives of our people and their families to develop these contracts and ensure that their needs are fully considered. These new contracts offer the opportunity to break decisively from the past and to build on the commitments made by all suppliers to innovate and deliver more responsive and flexible services to the Armed Forces and their families.


The new contracts will require suppliers to work differently, such as fixing faults on an initial visit to a property and undertaking simple preventative maintenance while attending properties to reduce disruption to families.


I look forward to continuing working with Pinnacle, Vivo and Amey to transition smoothly from the NHP to the new FDIS contracts, and to ensure delivery performance is maintained. More details will become available as we approach the in-service date, with comprehensive guides to the new contracts to be issued to all families in SFA in good time before the contracts go live in April. Please do keep checking as all the latest SFA FDIS guidance is there, and we will be updating those pages as appropriate.

New contracts to enhance maintenance and repair services across Service Family Accommodation (SFA) supporting jobs across the UK Defence supply chain over 7 years has been announced today.


Five new contracts worth £650-million have been awarded to industry to deliver crucial building and maintenance services for more than 39,000 Service families.


Forming the next phase of the Future Defence Infrastructure (FDIS) programme, the four new regional accommodation contracts will cover the maintenance of properties across the UK, including plumbing, electrical works, repair services and the maintenance support helpline.


The contracts will create and sustain thousands of jobs across the UK supply chain and SFA sites including Portsmouth, Marham, Aldershot, Edinburgh and Cumbria which are all set to benefit from it.


The NFF carried out a housing survey in 2018 and which directly informed the Ministry of Defence’s tendering process.


The seven-year contracts have been awarded to:

Region Supplier
Northern Amey Community Ltd
Central Amey Community Ltd
South East (SE) VIVO Defence Services Ltd
South West (SW) VIVO Defence Services Ltd


In addition to the facilities work, military families will also profit from a new customer service centre acting as a single point of contact to streamline and resolve accommodation issues quicker. Pinnacle Group Ltd has won a £144-million contract to deliver these services.


Announced by the Prime Minister last November, Defence has received an increase in funding of over £24-billion across the next four years. This investment reflects the MOD’s commitment to improving service accommodation and prioritising funding for critical infrastructure and services.


The new contracts will require suppliers to work differently, such as fixing faults on an initial visit to a property and undertaking simple preventative maintenance while attending properties to reduce disruption to families.


The contracts ensure industry suppliers adopt and adhere to recognised industry standards for the allocation, management and maintenance of military homes, implementing robust mechanisms to address poor performance alongside incentives to exceed contracted standards.


In the last financial year, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation spent £160-million on major improvements and the modernisation of its housing stock. The new FDIS contracts will enhance this even further.


The accommodation services contracts follow the recent announcement of a £1.6-billion to deliver hard facilities management services across the UK Defence estate. The final phase of the FDIS programme will see a contract awarded for the management and maintenance of the UK Defence Training Estate.


Homeport article about the new contracts

Article from Homeport (Summer 2021, p.9)

Posted on: 24th June, 2021
Updated on: 28th January, 2022


In November 2018 there were approximately 11,000 empty Service Family Accommodation (SFA) properties across the Defence Estate. This resulted in high rent and maintenance across to the Department. To address this Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) Chief Executive, Graham Dalton, committed to an accelerated reduction in the number of empty properties to c5,000 by Autumn 2021. This number (10% of the overall SFA portfolio in the UK) is required to manage the annual churn of between 15,000 – 18,000 Service house moves. Unlike social housing providers, the MOD does not have ‘waiting lists’ for SFA, we need to provide the certainty of an address ahead of Service personnel and their family moving to a new assignment location.


Air Commodore Wendy Rothery, Head of Regional Delivery Accommodation said: “Actively reducing the SFA void levels to an appropriate management margin of 10%, enables the MOD to invest limited funds on improving the standard and condition of homes for Service personnel and their families, rather than maintaining properties for which there is no long-term requirement”.


The number of empty properties has been allowed to increase over recent years due to a number of reasons:


  • DIO have held onto properties in anticipation of returning Service personnel and their families from Germany
  • There is some uncertainty over housing requirements arising from wider Defence programmes, such as Defence Estates Optimisation Programme (DEOP)
  • DIO knew of proposed changes to accommodation policy which would increase eligibility to SFA
  • DIO chose to prioritise limited funding on improving the condition and quality of homes, rather than paying dilapidation and disposals costs for those properties with no long-term requirement.


To reduce the number of empty properties in a coherent and phased way, while saving the Department money, DIO have implemented the Void Reduction Plan. Its key components are:


  • Continuing the short-term sub-letting of empty properties to the general public. 1,400 properties have already been sub-let across 50 sites generating £15M in rental income. The programme helps the short-term alleviation of the UK’s housing shortage, while allowing the Department to bring properties back should the need arise
  • Handing back an average of 500 properties per year for 7 years to Annington Homes (we lease 38,000 SFA from them in England and Wales)
  • Demolishing 400 properties in Northern Ireland as part of the Good Friday Agreement. These properties are unable to be used by other institutions
  • Housing c750 Services families who returned from Germany last summer
  • Meeting the new eligibility demand from cohabitating couples with more than 250 applicants already housed since April 2109 and a further 100 waiting to move-in.


With these steps, and assuming current demand levels are maintained, the number of empty properties will reduce to around 8,500 by March 2020 and 6,000 by March 2021.


Posted on: 29th October, 2019

On Wendesday 29th August 2018 it was announced that CarillionAmey is rebranding, and will be known as ‘Amey’ from now on.


There are sereval changes that you may wish to take note of:


  1. Their new website will be
  2. You can find out more about their services (including a SFA guide, advice and support etc.) here.
  3. There is a change to their email address domain ( Please refer to this page here for more information.
  4. Their phone numbers will remain unchanged.


You can read their official statement here.


Posted on: 30th August, 2018