Residents’ satisfaction with Army housing decreased in the last year, according to tenant survey scores released Sept. 1 by the Army.
For privatized housing, the overall score was down by 1.7 points to 73.7 out of a possible 100 points, moving the score into the “average” rating. That’s down a notch from the “good” rating in 2021, when it was 75.4 points.
Among residents’ top concerns were issues related to maintenance services, including response times, communication, follow-up and long-term solutions, officials stated.
“The survey responses are consistent with what we have been hearing directly from Army families over recent months about the challenges that have occurred in Army housing at some installations,” said Michael E. Reheuser, director of installation services, in an announcement of the results. “Army senior leaders remain personally committed to providing safe, quality housing on all Army installations.”
- Of the 43 installations listed in the survey report, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, was listed with the highest overall score, at 88.4, followed by Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, with 87.7. The lowest overall score of 55.7 went to Fort Carson, earning it a “very poor” rating.
- The Army’s report listed scores for 43 installations with privatized housing, but didn’t include information about all 381 individual privatized housing properties surveyed. Scores decreased for 26 installations and increased for 16.
- For Army-owned or leased housing, the overall satisfaction score was 72.3 points, a decrease of 0.6 points. There were 125 properties surveyed; 20 installations were listed. Fort McCoy earned an “outstanding” rating with a score of 94.1. The housing at Stuttgart, Germany, was the lowest listed score of 60.8, in the “poor” category.
- The five installations with privatized housing for unaccompanied soldiers received an overall score of 86.6.
- Satisfaction scores were down in the categories of property satisfaction (down 1.1 points to 71.5) and service satisfaction (down 2.3 points to 74.9.)
The survey was conducted by CEL & Associates, Inc., an independent, third-party firm, using standardized questions used by the Department of Defense across all the service branches in their housing surveys.
The online survey link was emailed on Jan. 11 to more than 90,000 residents living in privatized, government-owned and government-leased housing on Army installations around the world. The response rate to the survey was the highest the Army has ever had, Reheuser said, with 29.9% — 23,561 residents — of privatized housing responding.
In government-owned or government-leased housing, 25.2% — 2,350 residents — responded.
The survey report is dated March 2022; it was released in September, six months later.
Residents at the Army’s 381 privatized housing properties were surveyed. Survey results indicated that 24 privatized housing properties received a “crisis” rating, with a score below 55; information on those locations was unavailable.
There were 130 privatized housing properties out of the 381 that received scores that earned them ratings of “below average,” “poor,” “very poor” or “crisis.”
According to the Army’s announcement about the results, “Army leaders will hold privatized housing companies accountable when they fail to deliver comprehensive, quality services to soldiers and their families.”
It’s been more than three years since news reports of mold, vermin, water leaks and other problems in privatized housing prompted hearings where military spouses testified. Some key problems identified were issues with misleading housing surveys, lack of military and DoD oversight of the privatized housing, and lack of a military point of contact to address unanswered maintenance requests and concerns.
DoD created a standardized survey, first used by all the services in late 2020 to early 2021.
Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.