Last week Andrew Murrison joined MP colleagues in a meeting with defence minister Jeremy Quin to discuss the eviction of Ministry of Defence (MOD) tenants from homes that the ministry wants to hand to Annington Homes under a leaseback deal signed in 1996. The arrangement has the immediate potential to affect 100 Wiltshire households, a number in Andrew’s South West Wiltshire constituency.
The stimulus for the evictions, according to Minister Quin speaking on 15 October in the Commons, relates to a big market rate discount the MOD earned on the Annington deal. It was designed to last 25 years expiring next year potentially exposing the MoD and tenants to big rent increases.
The MOD previously agreed to extend eviction notices by 12 months, particularly important in the current crisis.
“The Minister has engaged positively with MPs whose constituents this affects. However, I agree with my colleagues that the MOD should withdraw its notices to evict and work with Annington to secure the tenancies for the longer term.
“The MoD housing estate must drive down voids given the lack of housing in Wiltshire. I encourage a conversation with the council and local social housing providers aimed at taking on housing stock that’s no longer needed by the MoD whilst preserving the integrity of the defence housing estate for Service families that rely on it.”