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Married Quarters Tag

UPDATE (MAY 22) – COMPENSATION FOR MISSED APPOINTMENTS AND FAILED MOVE IN

The SFA Compensation Scheme will continue under the FDIS Accommodation contracts and will be administered and funded by the suppliers when they are at fault. Requests for compensation can be raised through this page.

UPDATE – (SE & SW) ISSUE AFFECTING APPOINTMENTS

UPDATE (June 22) – ISSUE AFFECTING APPOINTMENTS IN THE SOUTH EAST & SOUTH WEST REGIONS

Message from DIO:

 

Last week we alerted you to an urgent issue where VIVO’s system was not receiving appointments being transferred by Pinnacle. Since then, we have worked hard with our suppliers to understand the causes, reduce the impact on families and find a resolution.

 

Unfortunately, the issues are impacting families through missed appointments, and we understand how frustrating this is for families.

 

VIVO has reported 1733 missed appointments due to this issue that have affected 1125 families. The technical teams have identified the causes of the problem and fixes are currently being deployed. While it will take a few days to permanently fix the underlying issue, a business continuity plan (BCP) has been implemented with a temporary solution while the permanent solution is put in place. Early feedback suggests this has significantly reduced but we aim to eliminate it entirely. Therefore, further measures have been agreed with immediate effect to strengthen this BCP. The Pinnacle team at the National Service Centre are supporting by providing information across to the VIVO such that checks can be made to prevent further missed appointments.

 

Families who have had missed appointments will start to be contacted by VIVO this weekend to apologise and agree a new appointment. The first families should also start to receive compensation early next week. 

 

We are truly sorry that many families’ first impression of the new contracts will be negative, and we know how incredibly frustrating it is to wait in for nobody to arrive, in some cases multiple times.  This is not how the new contract will work going forward, and it is disappointing that these technical issues have occurred despite all our efforts and planning.  VIVO and the systems team are working to ensure that the lessons are learned, and this issue cannot be repeated.

UPDATE – Complaints and compensation

UPDATE (June 22) –

Message from DIO:

 

Pinnacle is working hard to close the gap between complaints and compensation requests being raised and closed. They are recruiting additional staff to address the higher volume of complaints and compensation requests.

In addition, VIVO and Amey are increasing Regional Service Centre (RSC) resource to support an increased level of complaint resolution requests from Pinnacle allowing Pinnacle to speed up to the closure rate and communication to families.

Pinnacle will prioritise the raising of emailed complaints from families to effectively action them and ensure a complaint reference is applied. This will ensure families are aware that Pinnacle have acknowledged the complaint. All emails will be responded to within 5 working days.

The process for raising complaints for missed appointments in the South East and South West is described above where the dedicated new call option will capture these specific complaints.  If families wish to raise a complaint about any other issue, or request compensation this should be raised via Pinnacle’s online form. We would also advise families to call the NSC to raise a new appointment in this instance. 

In April 2017 the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) launched a compensation scheme in the UK to cover missed appointments and significant issues at move-in for Service Family Accommodation (SFA) and Substitute Service Family Accommodation (SSFA).

 

Please note that claims must be made within 14 days of the issue occurring. Once an application is received, the DIO Compensation Claim Team will then consider the claim and the claimant will be informed whether this has been accepted or rejected. If accepted, this will be in the form of High Street Vouchers – please be aware that no alternatives will be offered; if rejected, then the reasons for this will be explained. There will be no appeals process.

 

For full information/to apply for this scheme, please click here.

 

Posted on: 3rd May, 2018
Updated on: 3rd May 2022

For enquiries about loss of entitlement to Service Family Accommodation (SFA) resulting from retirement, redundancy, discharge or estrangement, please contact the Loss of Entitlement Team by telephoning 01904 418000 or 94510 8000. Please note their phone lines are only operational between 9.00am – 12 noon and from 1.00pm – 3.00pm.

 

They are contactable via email throughout the whole working day at DIORDAccn-LOETeam@mod.gov.uk

 

 

If you believe that you will lose entitlement to SFA in the future, or find yourself in this situation, advice is available from a variety of sources. As well as the Joint Service Housing Advice Office, other sources of information and advice are: service charities; families federations; housing advice centres; and local authorities.

 

Base Port Agreement

If you are occupying SFA in one of the three Base Port Areas (Portsmouth, Plymouth or Faslane) then you can retain your SFA on assignment to a new Duty Station, but in advance of your assignment date you must log onto the e1132 form (application to occupy SFA) via the Defence Intranet. You need to click the button ‘retain current SFA on posting within the Base Port Scheme’. This should be done within 14 days of receiving your Assignment Order and should be done on each assignment in order for your retention expiry date to be amended. Your occupancy data is updated and your continued entitled occupation can be confirmed for allowance purposes or for disturbance if moving at a later date.

 

What happens in the background is that the stock management system then recognises you as part of the RN/RM and therefore able to remain in your Port Area. If you don’t inform the ‘system’ that you wish to remain it thinks that there is not a match between your assignment location and SFA location which prompts the system to issue you with a Notice to Vacate. You need to be aware that if you occupy Substitute SFA (SSFA) in one of the Port Areas retention will be granted, but you will be expected to move to SFA if and when there is suitable availability within that Port Area.

 

If you are serving away from a Base Port area and you are then assigned away from the area then you should apply for SFA at your next place of duty. There are exceptions to this regulation, however, you must apply for a retention.

 

There has to be explicit reasons to retain that are recognised under the regulations and you will need to provide appropriate supporting documentation at the time of the application. A number of retention criteria require Chain of Command support particularly for welfare or medical reasons when, in the first instance, the Local Service Commander will consider the case in consultation with appropriate medical, welfare (RN FPS and Divisional system), educational agencies and Pinnacle Service Families. If agreed, retentions will be granted for a period of up to 12 months (you can re-request prior to expiry if the circumstances continue to persist) and confirms continued entitled occupation for allowance and disturbance purposes.

 

If a retention request is unsuccessful it does not form any kind of bar to future use of SFA, but it may be that if you wish to stay in a particular location (other than Port Area) for a period of time beyond assignment dates, then housing options outside the SFA estate will need to be considered such as rental or purchase. There are schemes for Tenancy Deposit Loans (DIB201516) which enables personnel to receive an advance of pay for rental properties or the Forces Help to Buy Scheme for assistance to buy into the property market. More information can be found here.

 

Tri-Service SFA and SSFA accommodation regulations are contained in JSP464 Volume 1 parts 1 and 2 here or via DII. Retention is fully covered in Chapter 7, Paragraph 0725 and includes guidance for all retention criteria.

 

Posted on: 3rd May, 2018
Updated on: 27th April, 2022

In general terms, Service personnel who are either married or in a Civil Partnership are entitled to Service Family Accommodation (SFA) within a ten-mile radius of their place of work.

 

If you are occupying SFA in one of the three Base Port Areas (Portsmouth, Plymouth or Faslane) then you can retain your SFA on assignment to a new Duty Station, but in advance of your assignment date you must log onto the e1132 form (application to occupy SFA) via the Defence Intranet. You need to click the button ‘retain current SFA on posting within the Base Port Scheme’. This should be done within 14 days of receiving your Assignment Order and should be done on each assignment in order for your retention expiry date to be amended. Your occupancy data is updated and your continued entitled occupation can be confirmed for allowance purposes or for disturbance if moving at a later date.

 

What happens in the background is that the stock management system then recognises you as part of the RN/RM and therefore able to remain in your Port Area. If you don’t inform the ‘system’ that you wish to remain it thinks that there is not a match between your assignment location and SFA location which prompts Pinnacle Service Families to issue you with a Notice to Vacate. You need to be aware that if you occupy Substitute SFA (SSFA) in one of the Port Areas retention will be granted, but you will be expected to move to SFA if and when there is suitable availability within that Port Area.

 

If you are serving away from a Base Port area and you are then assigned away from the area then you should apply for SFA at your next place of duty. There are exceptions to this regulation, however, you must apply for a retention.

 

There has to be explicit reasons to retain that are recognised under the regulations and you will need to provide appropriate supporting documentation at the time of the application. A number of retention criteria require Chain of Command support particularly for welfare or medical reasons when, in the first instance, the Local Service Commander will consider the case in consultation with appropriate medical, welfare (RN FPS and Divisional system), educational agencies and Pinnacle Service Families. If agreed, retentions will be granted for a period of up to 12 months (you can re-request prior to expiry if the circumstances continue to persist) and confirms continued entitled occupation for allowance and disturbance purposes.

 

If a retention request is unsuccessful it does not form any kind of bar to future use of SFA, but it may be that if you wish to stay in a particular location (other than Port Area) for a period of time beyond assignment dates, then housing options outside the SFA estate will need to be considered such as rental or purchase. There are schemes for Tenancy Deposit Loans (DIB201516) which enables personnel to receive an advance of pay for rental properties or the Forces Help to Buy Scheme for assistance to buy into the property market. More information can be found here.

 

Tri-Service SFA and SSFA accommodation regulations are contained in JSP464 Volume 1 parts 1 and 2 here or via DII. Retention is fully covered in Chapter 7, Paragraph 0725 and includes guidance for all retention criteria.

 

Updated on: 27th April, 2022