It’s no secret that pleasing everyone is an impossible task, yet the staff at Desert Oasis Housing at Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) might have figured out the formula.
“Being available and making sure that everything gets done as needed,” cites Kristel Steib community director, as part of that formula that helped the Desert Oasis Housing office rank number two out of 43 installations and 383 housing neighborhoods, on the Tenant Satisfaction and Opinion Survey.
Desert Oasis personnel is responsible for leasing and maintaining the housing on the YPG installation along with the landscaping exclusively on housing grounds.
CEL & Associates, Inc. conducted the survey of privatized housing on Army installations between December 2020 and January 2021. The survey looked at topics such as tenant satisfaction with their home, landscaping, quality of maintenance, and customer service.
Opal Graves Chief of Housing at YPG, is the liaison between the privatized housing and the government. She’s responsible for making sure Desert Oasis Housing upholds the Army standards and does so by conducting weekly site inspections.
Graves explains, “The management makes sure they go well above and beyond to please the customer.”
One example of that exemplary customer service, “We have 72 hours to perform routine maintenance. We get it done in 24,” says Steib, “If they call that something is wrong, typically we have all our work orders completed within the same day. If not, the very next day.”
That is a big feat considering the housing team is made up of nine employees: four maintenance technicians, two grounds maintenance, one housekeeper, and two office personnel. While they are a small team, its members are all very familiar with the residents: most of the staff has been in their position for 10 years or more.
“When they go out, they are familiar with the unit, the resident and they are able to be personable and professional. They get the job done the first time,” explains Steib.
Another example of staff going above and beyond —if a Soldier is injured, Desert Oasis will install grab bars and ramps. “We do it at no cost because they are our Soldiers and we need to take care of them.”
During Graves’ inspections, occasionally a resident will not be in compliance with the Army standards and because of that personal relationship, the housing department can speak with them and help resolve the issue quickly.
“It is working together as a community,” said Graves.
Overall the Desert Oasis staff and the YPG Housing Department are pleased to see the survey results.
Steib said, “It’s nice to see that people are seeing the effort that is being made.”
“It’s really no surprise, because they do a great job,” adds Graves