FORT KNOX, Ky. — On the heels of the Army releasing results from the latest tenant satisfaction survey, Knox Hills officials say they have basically maintained the same high ratings among their residents.
Of the three target areas surveyed, Knox Hills received a minor increase in service satisfaction from 82.4 to 82.8% while property and overall satisfaction numbers dipped slightly— 80.8 to 80.3% and 77.6 to 76.3% respectively.
“We are honored to be able to serve and take care of our Soldiers and their Families who make such tremendous sacrifices for our country every day,” said John Bredehoeft, project director at Knox Hills. “We appreciate any and all feedback that residents are willing to provide us, as this forms the basis from which we can plan improvements to our homes and our operations.”
Army officials earlier said they saw greater survey participation rates across the service.
“A higher number of residents participated in this year’s survey, and overall satisfaction rates improved as well,” said Michael Reheuser, director of Installation Services, Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-9. “We are encouraged by the results, and the responses will help us determine how to continue improving the quality of life of our residents.”
Privatized housing throughout the Army received an overall satisfaction score of 75.4 out of a possible 100 points, an increase of 0.3 points, and Army-owned/leased housing achieved an overall satisfaction score of 72.9 points, a significant increase of 3.4 points. More than 53% of privatized housing installations and 63% of government-owned/leased installations showed improvements in overall satisfaction.
More than 85,000 residents were invited to participate, with 24,483 responding — an increase of 4.4% for privatized housing and 3.3% for Army-owned/leased housing, according to the survey. The privatized housing response rate amounted to 29.1%, with the Army-owned/leased housing response rate being 26.3%.
“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,” said Reheuser.
Fort Knox’s numbers reflected even higher participation. Of the 2,239 surveys distributed to residents between December 2020 and January 2021, 746 were returned, resulting in a 33.3% response rate. Bredehoeft said resident participation in many projects has marked 2020 as an unusual year.
“This year has been unprecedented in many ways. The impacts from COVID-19 have forced Knox Hills to adapt its operations with new processes and ways to operate while ensuring the safety of our Army Families, as well as our own team members,” said Bredehoeft. “While we believe this has brought about some positive changes, such as contactless move in, remote showings and elimination of online fees for payment through the Resident Café app, any time there is such a significant shift in how we operate and engage with residents, it can take some time to fully adapt and perfect.”
In the overall satisfaction category for Fort Knox, the needle moved the highest in quality of maintenance services, jumping from a very good rating last year to outstanding this year at 86.5%. Concurrently, however, the needle dipped from good to average in property appearance and condition, currently at 74.1%. Of the nine areas surveyed, three rose in ratings.
In property satisfaction, both identifiers dropped, reflecting a lack luster rating in property appearance as well as the property rating.
“We did see our roads, parking areas, sidewalks and common areas take a small step back,” said Bredehoeft. “Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we had to delay starting these previously planned development projects.… Appliances saw a similar dip, as we faced delivery challenges while trying to maintain safe social distancing and other COVID-19 precautions.”
Bredehoeft explained Knox Hills worked hard throughout the year to address each of these concerns. For instance, many appliance upgrades have already occurred since the survey was conducted, and work underway in many neighborhoods due to out-year funding is beginning to address roads, parking, sidewalks and common areas.
Among the five areas surveyed in service satisfaction, two saw increases with three decreasing. Most ratings highlighted minor changes in opinions, though quality of maintenance services again reflected the biggest increase. Bredehoeft said communication has been key to the increases.
“The entire Knox Hills team prides itself on finding ways to connect with our residents,” said Bredehoeft. “Offering alternative ways to communicate through our Resident Café app and our Red Flag messaging platform extends communication opportunities when in-person meetings aren’t possible.”
The latest round of funding has provided even more opportunities for construction and renovation improvements, Bredehoeft said. All totaled, roughly $100 million is being used to construct more than 60 new junior enlisted homes, 1,720 renovations to existing homes and several infrastructure improvements.
Bredehoeft said the future for Fort Knox residents will only continue to brighten.
“We are honored to be able to serve and take care of our Soldiers and their Families who make such tremendous sacrifices for our country every day,” said Bredehoeft. “We appreciate any and all feedback that residents are willing to provide us, as this forms the basis from which we can plan improvements to our homes and our operations.”