Housing-I give up!!

#1
What are other peoples experiences of dealing with the Housing allocation staff of a certain allocations department covering the greater london region? Having been posted from BFG to UK whilst on Op tour in Afghanistan I submitted my housing request papers well before my posting date.

I was offered a quarter in an area; which was not one of my choices and falls out of the 10 mile radius of my duty station, which I turned down on the basis that I was told I would be first on the waiting list for our first choice patch. This was all done whilst away in Afghanistan in Feb 07.

On my return I was told that I had in fact dropped to third on the waiting list and was not entitled to SSFA as I had turned down my offer (even though I made the decision to refuse on the information that DE gave, that I was first on the waiting list).

Despite, 2 formal letters of complaint to Defence Estates, over 10 phone calls to the Housing information centre and 10 messages left with the Area manager (this is not an exageration!!), I am still no further forward.

I have now taken up my new post back in the UK and have spent three weeks of the year so far with my family (my son has forgotten what I look like!). I am inclined to think that defence estates don't give a sh.., make false promises, don't know what the left hand is doing (not answering the phone thats for sure!!) and are completely failing to understand the needs of the military community.

Why should I have to put up with this unbelievably poor service from an agency that appears to take great joy in messing me and my family around around. I am begining to loose the will to live

Anyone got a caravan we could borrow?
 
#2
Get in touch with SSFA..Balls to what anyone says!!Do you have a Families Officer? Kick Ass..After what you have been through in the name of Britain and your getting treated like this...Bloody Disgusting :(
 
#4
Best person to speak to now would be Rosie Brown, the Housing Specialist, at the AFF.

DE/HIC are now as much of a joke as MHS. We're all doomed.
 
#5
fcknguslesdg said:
I was offered a quarter in an area; which was not one of my choices and falls out of the 10 mile radius of my duty station, which I turned down on the basis that I was told I would be first on the waiting list for our first choice patch.
Does the 10 mile radius apply if you are posted to London? I thought that it didn't apply inside the M25.

Have they given you a reason why you have been overtaken on the waiting list? Can you tell us which patch you are waiting for?
 
#7
PM me. I would be very interested to know what housing area you are dealing with. I experienced very similar circumstances about a year ago. After setting up a move (BFG to UK) from an op tour I discovered on my return that the SFA was not really suitable. I made the gross error of accepting it (principally because I didn’t want to extend my separation and my removals were already planned) but challenging the grading. Ten months, many phone calls and a formal complaint later, I have got nowhere with the grading but have been told that it is the wrong type and should never have been allocated to me! Not good for morale. My real schimpf is that I have not had a proper response to the complaint and no acknowledgement that they could learn lessons from how my case was handled.
 
#8
Dealing with High Wycombe HIC, and am trying to get West Byfleet Patch as am posted to Headley Court. So the 10 mile rule does apply. I have just been in discussion with the Area Housing manager today and he just seems to come up with dribbbling excuses about how busy he is!!! Does not seem interested in the fact that he is dealing with a complaint, which highlights failings in his department.

I have also spoken with the director of Housing's (PA) and in no uncertain terms expressed my dismay at the failings of the the DE in my case.

I have renewed enthusiasm - thanks ARSE!
 
#9
Best of luck trying to get your hands on a quarter in West Byfleet! It's notorious. One minute you're first on the list, next thing you know you're 8th. I gave up.

What really shocks me is that you managed to get through to High Wycome HIC. Only managed it once so far (not for the wont of trying mind!)
 
#10
Forget the low life manager, get your wife to write to the local MP and get them involved that is about the only way they start to pay attention.
 
#11
The HIC's were billed as the answer to all our allocation problems................I remember some bloke for the DE saying on BFBS.

Oh how wrong he was! You need to set yourself aside approximately one hour to get through to them! or alternatively ring the area housing manager. PM me if you need contact details.

Surely these people should be accountable to somebody for their complete incompetence!
 
#12
HIC is just another round of hoops for us to jump through. Whatever possessed them to announce it would make life easier I do not know! Anyway, if they can't be bothered to answer the phone to organise march out times then I'm shoving the keys through DE's door! They should be glad it's only the door.

Let us know how you get on anyway.
 
#13
Blues_Cav said:
Forget the low life manager, get your wife to write to the local MP and get them involved that is about the only way they start to pay attention.
Here here. My wife wrote to local MP after we'd suffered MHS...they came 'grovelling, cap in hand' the very next day!!

MHS, HIC, DE etc.... another publicly funded initiative by the MOD to save money at the expense of our servicemen. Complete disregard of the so called 'covenant'
 
#14
fcknguslesdg said:
Dealing with High Wycombe HIC, and am trying to get West Byfleet Patch as am posted to Headley Court.
What quarter type are you waiting for and what number on the waiting list have they said you are at (please PM me if you don't wish to post it on here)?
 
#15
I visited the York HIC to enquire about the patches available in order to complete my 3 choices on the housing application form. I was received with a stunned "we don't do visitors, you have to ring us". My polite response was "I have been trying but no-one answers the phone" to which the lady responded "that's because we don't have a receptionist to answer the phone". Housing Information Centre - my arse.
 
#16
This is bloody impressive service for the troops. Perhaps you could use our recent Pun VC campaign as a yardstick for these, patently non-performing, buffoons.
 
#17
Write to your MP and get him/her to write to the relevant minister

You'll be amazed the effect Ministerial correspondence has on slack agency staff!
 
#18
Amazing system of agency outsourcing by the MOD Service without pay, full career without pension, family without housing, housing without the possibility of repair and all agencies with a common strand of expertise in the pursuit of their primary aim of profit - how to avoid the consequences of mistake, negligence and error and how to put as much distance between themselves and those whom they exist to administer because no-one in them actually cares a damn.

I wonder when and if the collective effectiveness and the total effect on the soldier and his family of these multiple agencies will be examined by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee at some stage.

I am so glad I reached pension when the soldier was relatively well-served. I most certainly would not like to be serving today as a young married NCO with small children!
 
#19
Difficult post to write - being my first - as I’m not normally into complaining.

It has been difficult to get the 'system' to acknowledge the problems the individual has and it seems I am not alone. For me, this time, the system has gone too far and is the reason I will be leaving at the earliest opportunity – pension willing!

My story? I’m currently in SSFA, and my landlord wants me out on a particular date, quite close, but not coincidental with my end of tour, but DE cant allocate a quarter until one week later. When pointed out that my landlord (in Australia) may not be; a) be contactable in the short term and; b) wants to sell his house, so he may not want me to stay past the agreed contractible end date, DE estate first response was "don’t worry they can’t evict you for 28 days, so you can stay where you are until the quarter is available to you a week later".

When I suggested that this was illegal (being a bear of little brain, this sounded very much like squatting), I was told that it was in fact not illegal and it would only be for a week, so don’t worry.

At this stage I explained I was uncomfortable with this and morally I wouldn’t be party to this. I also said I couldn’t believe it was DE policy to encourage the occupant to stay in a quarter past the agreed termination date (in my case, agreed 6 months ago - not as if this snuck up on them!).

Because I refused to "squat", DE offered to put me and may family (wife, kids aged 8, 5 and 7 months) up in a hotel for the week (including storage costs), if the landlord wouldn’t be happy to slip the date I had to leave, I accepted the offer of the quarter.

In the event, the landlord (who I happen to get on with), was also gobsmacked and was happy for the short extension – but for 10 days only as he "wouldn't like to me mucked about just because of the inept and
inadequate DE!!! I’m now dreading trying to get removals in August for the 3 day window my work will allow me to move without mucking up a carefull coordinated handover/takeover plan for a couple of specialised jobs.

So why am I writing this - I now have a house and haven’t suffered as much as many other in the system? It’s simple; because I cant believe the DE policy to short term problems is to tell its 'customers' to squat. If this isn’t a failing of the system, I don’t know what is!

I should finally add – the girls on the telephone at my particular HIC have been absolutely brilliant (when I have been able to get though – average waiting time on phone is 10 mins before talking to someone – who cant by the way, transfer me to my allocations officer, so have to wait for a call back!). They were as frustrated as me as to the failings of the system – its only when the management stepped in, was the wacky suggestionmade.

The most important thing to a soldier, is caring for his family. The system MUST be improved – this has a REAL, TANGIBLE impact on soldiers and families lives and well-being. This must get sorted - the whole system is shambolic.

armybatman
 
#20
fcknguslesdg said:
The HIC's were billed as the answer to all our allocation problems................I remember some bloke for the DE saying on BFBS.

Oh how wrong he was! You need to set yourself aside approximately one hour to get through to them! or alternatively ring the area housing manager. PM me if you need contact details.

Surely these people should be accountable to somebody for their complete incompetence!
I've fallen foul of this a few times recently - about 45 mins at least it took me to speak to someone, on three separate occasions. The thing that p*ssed me off the most was, after waiting so long to get through, I ended up talking to some f*cktard who sounded like he was off his face. Also loads of birds nattering and giggling in the background, probably at the expense of some unlucky sod who couldn't get through.

How can this be allowed to happen in the modern army? Surely the powers that be must realise that if Joe Squaddie doesn't receive provisions for him and his family, he'll look for employment elsewhere? Why has nothing been done to audit this shambles of a system, and if it has, why has nothing positive come from it?

I do hope they read this. :x
 

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