WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Army today 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, although participation rates were 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 one survey, which 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.

In the other survey, which focused on Army-owned and leased housing, participants indicated they were most satisfied with the quality of maintenance work, the housing staff and feelings of safety and security. However, they were least satisfied with the size and value of homes compared to off-post housing and follow-up on reported problems.

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 walkthroughs of all houses, inspected all barracks, and implemented 24-hour hotlines at each installation. Private housing companies also launched mobile apps to file and track maintenance issues.

"We are absolutely committed to providing safe and secure housing on every installation," said Gen. Gus Perna, Army Materiel Command commander. "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."

Both 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.