By Neil Pooran
SERVICE families facing eviction from MoD housing say they have been “betrayed” by council chiefs as they search for new homes.
Around 60 families based at RAF Lossiemouth are being thrown out of married quarters in February as a result of redundancies in the military.
And they are furious that Moray Council is refusing to deal with their request for a new roof over their heads until January.
Council chiefs have sent out a short, standard letter to the families giving them a list of organisations that might help with new accommodation.
The families are particularly angry at Moray Council because the authority gained positive publicity by vowing to fight for the future of the base.
Cally Day, of Save RAF Lossiemouth, recently got the bad news that her serviceman husband was being made redundant.
She said: “We were told we’re going to be evicted in February. The council say they’ll only start speaking to us in January.
“It feels like a slap in the face.”
She and her family have been in their current house for more than 15 years, and say they are happy with the three-bedroom property.
RAF Lossiemouth was saved from looming closure this July, after a campaign to save it which was backed by Moray Council.
Mrs Day said: “I’m just surprised that Moray Council, who fought so vigorously to save the base, now don’t give a damn about us.
“They don’t want us, they just want the money we bring to the economy.
“We feel betrayed.”
Mrs Day was told she and her family would have to leave their military quarters on 13 September this year. Her husband had worked as a
technician on Tornado jets.
Recently she received a short letter from the council giving a list of alternative accommodation providers.
Other members of Mrs Day’s 16,000 member Facebook group, ‘RAF Lossiemouth and its local communities’, say they have received the same correspondence when applying for council houses with Moray Council.
Mrs Day said: “I’m not saying we should jump the queue, but there should be some appreciation, we’ve contributed heavily to this community in the past.”
She the military covenant, a pledge from the government to care for service personnel, was not producing tangible results.
A spokesman for the Royal British Legion said: “Frankly it stinks of bad management.
“You are going to end up with people who don’t have anywhere to live. Moray council should at least be in a position to come to a temporary arrangement with residents.
“There should be an emergency meeting of Moray Council’s housing committee to deal with this.”
He said the problem of ex-service personnel trying to find council houses was an ongoing issue.
“Councils and the ministry of defence have had it flagged up every year for the past 30 years, this should have been sorted out long ago.”
Moray Council’s head of Housing and Property, Jill Stewart, said they had received and accepted eight applications from RAF families in Moray faced with redundancy. “Of these, one household has been permanently re-housed, one is in temporary accommodation awaiting housing and the remaining six have current applications on the waiting list,” she said.
“The Council tries to respond to requests within the timescales required but there is acute demand for housing in Moray which is currently not being met.”
The council said it was incorrect to claim Mrs Day’s application would not be dealt with until January, saying an offer to “discuss her housing situation in more detail” had been offered.