The first survey will be emailed Nov. 7 to residents in housing that’s managed by the Army.
The second survey comes Nov. 12 to residents in housing managed by privatized housing companies.
The emails with survey links will come from ArmyHousingSurvey@celassociates.com, an independent third-party organization, not from the privatized housing company or the Army. Earlier this year, the same organization, CEL & Associates emailed housing surveys to nearly 100,000 residents, and about one-fourth of those responded.
The surveys will be open through Dec. 13, and all surveys are confidential. Residents who haven’t received an email with the survey link by Nov. 18 should contact their local housing office.
“The Army will improve homes, communities, and customer service ― from Army housing staff and the private housing management companies ― through the candid feedback we receive from our soldiers and their families,” said Lt. Gen. Jason Evans, Army deputy chief of staff for G-9, in an announcement of the survey.
Earlier this year, in the wake of media reports and congressional testimony from military families about problems with mold, lead paint, water leaks, pest infestations and the lack of response from their privatized housing manager to address the problem, the service officials began a concerted effort to address the problems.
These surveys are one tool the services are using to get better feedback from their residents.
Military families who have had to move out of their privatized housing due to mold and other health and safety issues say these displacements bring a whole new level of frustration.
Through soldiers’ and their families’ feedback, officials want to get firsthand accounts of what they find important in housing and to gauge satisfaction with property management services. They’ll use the information to find areas that are top priorities, identify the areas that are successful or need improvement, and to determine where funding could have the most impact, according to Evans.
Officials are hoping for a high participation rate.
In the surveys that were administered earlier this year, residents of privatized housing showed satisfaction with the ease of the leasing process and the housing staffs’ courtesy, respect and professionalism. The lowest satisfaction scores were in landscaping, visitor parking areas, pest control and the condition of roads, parking areas, sidewalks and common areas.
For those living in Army-owned and leased housing, residents were most satisfied with the quality of maintenance work, the housing staff and feelings of safety and security. They were least satisfied with the size and value of homes compared to off-post housing and follow-up on reported problems.
Earlier this year, the nonprofit Military Family Advisory Network released results of a survey of military housing residents across the services, conducted from Jan. 30 to Feb. 6, in which more than half of the 14,558 living in privatized military family housing reported having a negative experience. They reported living with problems such as black mold, lead paint, lead in their water, faulty wiring, poor water quality and a wide variety of vermin, bugs and other animals in their homes.