HC Deb 31 March 1999 vol 328 cc683-4W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future of the Defence Housing Executive. [79990]

Mr. Spellar

Following a review of options it has been concluded that the most appropriate way forward would be for the Defence Housing Executive to become an Agency of the Ministry of Defence with effect from 1 April 1999.

In order to ensure that the Agency operates in the best interests of its customers and in an efficient and cost effective manner, I have agreed five Key Targets with the Chief Executive for the first year of the Agency's work.

The following four key targets will measure the extent to which the Defence Housing Executive is delivering housing in the correct quantity, to the required standard and within the appropriate time frame.

Key Target 1:

To house at least 60 per cent. of families in accommodation that matches their entitlement by posting date or on return to Great Britain from overseas, and at least 90 per cent. within 28 days of that date.

Key Target 2:

Less than 10 per cent. of occupants should experience significant defects within 14 days of moving in.

Key Target 3:

To complete the planned upgrade of 1,766 properties by 31 March 2000.

Key Target 4:

To complete:

.at least 95 per cent. of emergency repairs within 24 hours of notification;

at least 90 per cent. of urgent repairs within 5 working days of notification;

at least 90 per cent. of routine repairs within 2 months of notification.

The fifth and final key target will measure the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the Defence Housing Executive, including the aim to reduce the number of empty properties to achieve a management margin of 13 per cent. by April 2002.

Key Target 5:

To achieve a unit cost of housing of less than £5,400.

Copies of the Defence Housing Executive Framework Document and 1999 Corporate Plan will be placed in the Library of the House.

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