One month to the date of Fort Hood’s last town hall meeting on housing, the Army released the results of its housing survey in Washington July 25.
Fort Hood received an overall “average” assessment from the survey. III Corps and Fort Hood Commanding General Lt. Gen. Pat White stressed his commitment to continuing to improve housing for troops and families living on the installation.
“Taking care of people is paramount; we want everyone to have a positive experience on the installation — this is non-negotiable,” White said in a statement following the Army’s release of the survey results.
The Army released the results of two housing surveys conducted earlier this year by an independent third party, which show a drop in overall satisfaction rates from last year. The survey results come amid a months-long effort by the Army to improve housing conditions after learning of residents’ concerns.
More than 100,000 residents were invited to participate and 25,414 responded, revealing participation rates lower than last year.
“Feedback from residents is extremely valuable for measuring and improving the quality of housing on Army installations,” said Alex Beehler, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment. “The results of this year’s survey will be used to continue identifying the concerns of our residents, and will guide Army staff and the private housing companies on ways we can improve the quality of life for our Soldiers and their families.”
The Army is using the survey results as one of several tools to continue identifying ways to improve housing conditions. Participants of the survey focused on privatized housing showed satisfaction with the ease of the leasing process and the housing staffs’ courtesy, respect and professionalism. Areas with the lowest satisfaction scores included landscaping, visitor parking areas, pest control, and the condition of roads, parking areas, sidewalks and common areas.
After learning of residents’ concerns about housing earlier this year, the Army held town hall meetings at each installation, established a Housing Environmental Health Response Registry to address health and safety concerns, improved work-order tracking systems, conducted walk-throughs of all houses, inspected all barracks, and implemented 24-hour hotlines at each installation. The hotline number for housing issues involving life/health/safety issues at Fort Hood is 254-206-1157.
Fort Hood held four housing town halls in February and another post-wide town hall June 25. Brigade-level town halls are on-going at the housing community level. The next post-wide housing town hall is scheduled for 2 p.m., Aug. 29, at Howze Auditorium. Private housing companies also launched mobile apps to file and track maintenance issues.
“We’ve increased our Military Café Resident App adoption rate to more than 2,200 residents, providing another convenient mobile option for families to submit and check the status of work orders, as well as improve transparency throughout the process,” Mack Quinney, Fort Hood Family Housing project officer said. “And we’ve also worked diligently to create a meaningful, two-way dialogue with our residents by participating in multiple town halls and community engagement sessions since February.”
Quinney added that FHFH has hired 60 additional full-time and part-time employees since February and conducted customer service training to positively impact interactions with residents.
“We are absolutely committed to providing safe and secure housing on every installation,” said Gen. Gus Perna, Army Materiel Command commanding general. “We are taking action to earn back the trust of our housing residents, and holding ourselves and privatized housing companies accountable to provide a high-quality standard of living.”
Continuing communication is a key element in tackling housing issues, White said.
“I value the candor and insights from my meetings with residents — their passion is a catalyst for change,” the general said. “Our Soldiers and families can rely on the chain of command to serve as their advocates for any housing or barracks issues.”
The surveys were administered online by CEL & Associates Inc., an independent, third-party organization that also conducts housing surveys for the other military services and for the private sector. To access the Army Privatized Housing Survey results, visit https://www.army.mil/e2/downloads/rv7/families/Army_Privatized_Housing_Survey_Results_EXSUM.pdf