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Army housing survey shows slight increase in satisfaction from military families

A duplex on Villagio, U.S. Army Garrison Italy's on-base housing. Army-owned and -leased housing in Stuttgart, Germany and Italy ranked 23rd and 24th, respectively, out of 26 sites examined in a quality survey conducted in the U.S. and overseas, a report released June 22, 2020 says.

NANCY MONTGOMERY/STARS AND STRIPES

By ROSE L. THAYER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 16, 2021

AUSTIN, Texas — The Army’s annual survey found increased satisfaction among residents of Army-run and privatized housing from the previous year.

Results of the 2021 tenant survey were released Friday and showed a higher participation rate than last year, with nearly 24,500 residents filling out the questionnaire generated by a third-party firm. About 85,000 residents were invited to participate, the Army said.

“We are encouraged by the results, and the responses will help us determine how to continue improving the quality of life of our residents,” said Michael E. Reheuser, director of installation services.

Privatized housing received an overall satisfaction score of 75.4 out of a possible 100 points, an increase of 0.3 points. Army-owned and leased housing achieved an overall satisfaction score of 72.9 points, an increase of 3.4 points.

The survey ran from December to January at 21 bases within the United States, Europe and the Pacific region. Stateside bases included Fort McCoy, Wis., Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., and Fort Buchanan in Puerto Rico, all of which received an “outstanding” rating. Hawthorne Army Depot, Nev., received the lowest rating of “crisis,” but only two residents, or 11%, of those invited, responded to the survey.

The results “indicate efforts are being made to improve the level of service provided to the tenants. While satisfaction did increase, the scores for the Europe Directorate still fall in the range of below average indicating additional work is needed,” according to the survey summary.

More than 53% of privatized housing bases and 63% of government-owned and leased bases showed improvements in overall satisfaction, the Army said.

“The results of this survey will be used by installation leadership, in conjunction with government housing managers and private company property managers, to further refine action plans to address deficiencies and prioritize resources,” Reheuser said. “We appreciate everyone who took the time to participate, and look forward to their feedback on how to further improve living conditions.”

The majority of Army housing in the United States is managed by private companies that partner with the government. During the next five years, those companies have pledged to add $2.8 billion in new development, modernization and renovation, according to the service.

“These efforts will not only improve housing and community conditions, but will also provide quality, safe and secure housing for our soldiers and their families,” the Army said.

Annual housing surveys came under fire in 2019 after a Government Accountability Office report found the service branches were not asking and analyzing questions in a standardized manner, which made efforts to combine the results across the Defense Department unreliable.

The Defense Department told the GAO that efforts to standardize surveys across the department would be completed in October, according to the GAO.

To review the full survey results, go to https://www.army.mil/qualityoflife/#housing

Thayer.rose@stripes.com
Twitter: @Rose_Lori