CAMP ZAMA, Japan (June 29, 2020) – Camp Zama’s “outstanding” housing satisfaction rate improved even further in 2019, according to an independent company the Army hired to evaluate customer satisfaction with housing.
CEL and Associates, Inc., a real estate consultant company based in Los Angeles, conducted a survey last fall by sending nearly 10,000 emails to residents of Army owned and leased housing at Camp Zama and 22 other installations worldwide.
The Army released the results June 22, and in addition to increases in housing satisfaction, Camp Zama also received five neighborhood awards—more than any other installation—and was the only installation to receive the overall “Crystal Award.”
Jeff Baulknight, chief of the housing management division at Camp Zama, said housing officials set the installation up for success by providing information and initial assignments as soon as possible.
“We are in direct contact with Soldiers before they arrive and usually have a home ready the day they arrive,” Baulknight said. “Sponsors are also informed and work directly with us in the information exchange.”
Then, once residents occupy units, housing officials listen to residents and react immediately to maintenance concerns, ensure residents and personnel maintain common areas and take direct action on other issues impacting quality of life, Baulknight said.
Camp Zama received the Crystal Award for having multiple neighborhoods, in this case five, with a score of at least 85 and a response rate of at least 20 percent, according to the report.
Camp Zama’s overall score was 85.7 out of 100, up four tenths of a point from last year, which earned the installation a rating of “outstanding.” Camp Zama had an overall response rate of 23.6 percent.
The report broke up the properties by whether they were Army owned or leased, making a total of 26 rankings, and Camp Zama, which has exclusively Army-owned properties, placed fifth overall and was the best in the Pacific.
The installation’s scores for property and service also increased, with an increase of two tenths of a point to 84.5 for property and an increase of four tenths of a point to 86.9 for service.
Baulknight said the installation’s service department rates highly because staff are extremely experienced and know their jobs.
Counselors readily provide solid recommendations and explanations; facility personnel give immediate service to maintenance issues; furnishing personnel consistently ensure they install only quality products; and officials supervise contractors to ensure quality work, Baulknight said.
Baulknight noted the visual appeal of Camp Zama’s properties received a score of 85.7, and said all of the installation’s housing communities are located in picturesque areas and the Directorate of Public Works and residents provide excellent grounds maintenance work.
“In all fairness our residents should be rewarded,” Baulknight said. “They take the time, effort and take pride to ensure the areas outside of their homes are maintained. This was an easy accomplishment based on our community’s effort to take pride and ownership.”
In terms of individual neighborhoods, Camp Zama’s E9 and senior noncommissioned officer housing received a “Platinum A-List Award” with a score of 95.5 and a response rate of 50 percent. The neighborhood was one of only two to receive the award.
Camp Zama also received “A-List Awards” for the Sagamihara Family Housing Area 130-00 Series, with a service score of 87 and a response rate of 31.5 percent; the Camp Zama 1000 Range with a service score of 88.7 and a response rate of 29.4 percent; the Camp Zama 900 Area with a service score of 87.5 and a response rate of 37.5 percent; and the Camp Zama 743 High Rise with a service score of 86.9 and a response rate of 40.6 percent.
For the A-List Awards, Camp Zama took home half of the honors, with only 10 neighborhoods receiving the award.
Baulknight said it is easy to get high scores with the tremendous support the Housing Division receives from the U.S. Army Japan Garrison Command Team, Bobby Rakes, DPW director, and DPW’s Operations and Maintenance Division.
“There is nothing but complete support to assist our efforts serving the community,” Baulknight said.
Baulknight said the housing division already has a plan to do even better next year, with a target, for example, of 88 for overall, property and service satisfaction and a response rate of 41 percent.
This was the third online survey for Army-owned and Army-leased housing worldwide, according to the Army.
Another survey, emailed to residents of privatized housing, continued for its sixth year, according to the Army.
“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, in a press release.
The Army will use the results to continue identifying the concerns of residents, and will guide Army staff and the private housing companies on ways to improve the quality of life for Soldiers and their families, Beehler said.
The Army housing press release, which includes links to the total survey results, is available at https://www.army.mil/article/236599/army_releases_results_of_fall_2019_housing_surveys.