Vicenza, ITALY (August 16, 2019) - Local housing survey results from the 2019 Armywide housing were shared today during the quarterly housing town hall meeting in the chapel on Caserma Ederle.
Garrison Commander Col. Daniel J. Vogel and Command Sergeant Major Billy Vetten presented the results and answered questions.
More than 475 residents in Vicenza and Camp Darby received surveys and 128 responded. Italy survey participation rates were higher this year than last. In addition, community members in Italy responded in higher percentages than residents from other Army garrisons in Europe.
"During my turnover last month before I took command, I learned that in less than 30 days, the leadership teams here visited more than 3000 homes and barracks rooms to identify life, health or safety issues. A new housing hotline was established and housing is tightening its procedures when it comes to private-lease homes. Additionally, the survey results which came out a couple weeks ago makes it clear to me that have more work to do. We will not settle for substandard housing. This is a priority for me as garrison commander," said Vogel.
According to USAG Italy Directorate of Public Works director Norman Stiegler, the survey is an important tool to continue to identify ways to improve housing conditions.
"Feedback from residents is extremely valuable for measuring and improving quality of housing and services provided. Feedback is also critical for shaping the future of housing and the services provided here," said Stiegler.
According to Army officials, the survey is structured to collect information on various property-related components of the Army's privatized family and unaccompanied housing that indicate residents' feelings on the quality of housing at their installations and neighborhoods. However overseas garrisons such as Vicenza are not managed by private companies but by Army professionals on the respective staff.
"The biggest challenges we face overseas that Army residents stateside do not face are the mandatory housing policy and the different roles the housing department performs. Stateside, the garrison's role is to oversee the private partnership, while overseas, the garrison manages all facets of housing services directly. The benefit to managing the properties ourselves is the amount of control we have without needing to negotiate with the partner," said Stiegler.
According to the survey results shared at the town hall meeting, top areas of satisfaction in the Vicenza military community were the courtesy of maintenance personnel (87.5 percent) and the courtesy and respect given to residents (83.7 percent). At Camp Darby, survey respondents felt the safety of the community (91.3 percent) and the visual appeal of the community (90 percent) were most important.
Vogel also shared areas of concern revealed in the survey. In Vicenza, residents did not feel management was as good as compared to other communities (54.9 percent) and pest control management could be improved (61.4 percent). At Camp Darby, residents also felt management was not as good as other communities they lived previously (56.9 percent) and based on their feelings, they would not seek housing in this community again (64.3 percent).
"Although there was improvement from last year's survey results, we understand that there is always room for improvement. We look forward to having a higher participation in next year's survey to aid us with providing better service to our communities," said Stiegler.
USAG Italy is committed to improving housing conditions to ensure that our Soldiers and their families experience the quality of life that is reflective to their service and dedication to the nation. Soldiers and families here are encouraged to attend quarterly town hall meetings and take advantage of the housing hotline at 044-71-5116 to request maintenance of their quarters. Additionally, Soldiers and families are encouraged to bring any issue to their installation leadership and the Soldier's chain of command.
A link to the slides from the town hall can be found on the garrison homepage announcements section at https://home.army.mil/italy.