The latest housing town hall events on Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield were full of witches… and ghouls and goblins.
In attendance for the Halloween-themed Lifeworks family housing events hosted by Balfour Beatty, the costume-clad residents proved to be the perfect audience to attend the quarterly housing town halls on both installations.
The Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield Army Housing Office hosts housing town halls each quarter on both installations. Ranging from Facebook live events published across social media, to the more informal walking town halls, the events serve as a platform for residents to discuss their concerns so leadership can gain perspective on what is needed to maintain a high quality of life in all on-post residential communities.
This quarter’s town hall theme focused on the recent release of the 2023 Tenant Satisfaction Survey.
Riding the coattails of the 2022 survey results that were released early last month, the 2023 survey aims to build on the action plans that are currently being put into motion to improve the issues brought forth from last year’s survey.
“The U.S. Army wants your opinion about your Army housing and so do we here locally on Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield,” said Col. Manny Ramirez, Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield garrison commander. “We encourage you to please take a few minutes to complete the Army Housing Tenant Satisfaction Survey because your response will create a lasting impact on our community.”
The 2022 survey results landed Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield family housing in the bottom 10 of the satisfaction index, a rating that the Housing Office and Balfour Beatty housing managers are determined to improve in the near future.
“We are currently working on putting several action plans in place following the 2022 survey results,” said Melaine Cruz, Directorate of Public Works Army Housing Office housing manager. “While it feels like the 2022 survey period just ended, it’s important for our residents to know that filling out the latest survey will not only continue to help improve their quality of life, but the quality of life for future residents, as well.”
Cruz also noted the importance of completing the survey—if residents are either satisfied or not with their on-post housing experience.
“The survey wasn’t put in place to focus solely on the potential dissatisfaction of our residents,” she said. “It is also in place as a way to highlight the things that our housing contractor is doing right that should be sustained and celebrated.”
Most notably, the survey results also recognize the top performing neighborhoods with “Best in the Industry” real estate awards that highlight customer service excellence. Fort Stewart’s Marne Point Apartments won the A-list award based on their 2022 survey results.
“We are proud of the efforts put forth by the Marne Point staff and look forward to improving the scores of our other communities as well,” Ramiez said. “Our priority is to offer top tier housing and the highest level of customer service to our on-post housing residents. We will continue work on improving our best practices until we hit that mark.”
The Tenant Satisfaction Survey is offered annually by CEL & Associates, Inc. — an independent, third-party firm that uses standardized questions prepared by the Department of Defense across all military services. Each year it is distributed via email from ArmyHousingSurvey@celassociates.com to the primary email address on file for the on-post housing resident.
“The annual Tenant Satisfaction Survey is really important and we take it seriously,” said Lauren Dore, Fort Stewart Family Homes community manager. “We look at every single survey’s results at the end of the year so we can develop an action plan to address the issues that our residents have in Family Housing.”
Dore also emphasized the importance of following the Family Housing three-step process for housing concerns.
“If you have an issue that needs to be addressed, the first step is to come visit us in the community centers to give us the opportunity to resolve the issue locally,” she said. “If the still unsatisfied with the level of service provided, step two is to address the concern with management by calling the BBC Care helpline at 977-253-6988. The final step would be to contact the Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield Army Housing Office for intervention.”
Serving as the liaison between the Army community and the housing contractor, addressing unresolved issues is just one small part of what the Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield Army Housing office does. From initial home inspections with prospective residents to following-up on completed work orders, the Army Housing Office serves as the conduit to ensure on-post housing residents are maintaining a high quality of life within their homes.
“We follow-up on at least 5% of all completed work orders to ensure that the residents are satisfied with the service they received and we visit every home that has reported a life, health, safety issue,” Cruz said. “Our job is to do all that we can to ensure our residents are satisfied and that they are living in a good home.”
Cruz emphasized that even with their additional practices, the best way to gauge customer satisfaction is by completing the annual Tenant Satisfaction Survey.
The survey launched on Oct. 25 and will be open for responses until Dec. 16 for Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield Family Housing residents. Families are asked to be on the lookout for the email in their inboxes, spam or junk folders. Those who do not receive a survey link can also email ArmyHousingSurvey@celassociates.com to request access to the survey.
“We look forward to hearing all responses, good and bad, from our awesome housing residents across Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield,” Lt. Col. Bob Cuthbertson, Hunter Army Airfield garrison commander said. “This survey is one of the most important ways for us to receive the critical feedback needed to ensure our Soldiers and Families are residing the best quality housing we can provide.”