The Army Families Federation (AFF) is celebrating a success for those living in Service Family Accommodation (SFA) who have recently faced unfair increases to their accommodation charge.
Many families contacted AFF to say their rental charge or final charge had unexpectedly increased by an unreasonable amount without proper notice and without a chance to appeal.
Fighting for families
On behalf of these families, AFF approached housing organisations Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and CarillionAmey (CA) to push for a fair outcome in accordance with the original guidelines of the CAAS system. The original guidelines stated that rental increases would be implemented on a transitional basis and that any changes to the final charge as a result of a survey or data review would be able to be appealed within a contracted time scale.
AFF has now announced that DIO has agreed to investigate where properties have jumped by two or more rental bands - some families told the charity they had received a letter to say their rent would jump by three bands.
A new letter will now be sent to affected families advising of the planned increase and offering them 28 days to appeal the decision. Any subsequent increase will then only be enforced 93 days after the date of receipt of the letter, unless the appeal is successful.
Families' feedback vital
AFF Chief Executive Sara Baade said, "This has been a long and complicated issue, but we have fought on behalf of the families affected to achieve a fairer deal including protection from large jumps in rental charges, as promised to families when the new accommodation charge was first introduced. It is thanks to families' feedback that we've been able to approach DIO confidently and achieve a positive result."
To find out more about the housing support and advice AFF offers to Army families, visit their website www.aff.org.uk