§ Mr. Swayne
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what estimate he has made of the impact on morale of the standard of family accommodation available to service personnel; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the impact the delay in the housing refurbishment and improvement programme has had upon his ability to retain Army personnel. 
§ Dr. Moonie
The Ministry of Defence understands that Service personnel and their families expect Service family accommodation to be of good quality, and that poor quality accommodation can affect retention. Accommodation standards are set according to factors such as energy efficiency, double glazing and modern bathroom facilities. Currently around 60 per cent. of accommodation is Standard Two or above.
We are working hard to bring all family accommodation in Great Britain to Standard One. The Upgrade Programme to achieve this started in 1996. It is a significant investment programme and considerable progress has been made. We originally planned that most of the estate would be upgraded by November 2003 but the 1998 Stock Condition Survey revealed that the programme would involve more work than we predicted at the outset. As a consequence, we were forced to extend the target completion date to November 2005.
The Continuous Attitude Surveys, conducted among both serving personnel and their spouses, give objective evidence of morale and show that personnel are generally satisfied with the overall standard of Service families accommodation. Independent housing surveys conducted for the Defence Housing Executive also show that 82 per cent. of Service families are content with the standard of family accommodation.