|HUD No. 00-60|
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||Tuesday|
|Or contact your local HUD office||March 21, 2000|
VAST MAJORITY OF PUBLIC HOUSING RESIDENTS ARE SATISFIED WITH LIVING CONDITIONS
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo announced today that a new nationwide survey of public housing residents shows that 87 percent said they are satisfied or very satisfied with the services and overall living conditions that public housing authorities provide - up from 75 percent last year.
As part of the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS), a random sample of residents are sent survey questionnaires to complete and mail back to HUD's Real Estate Assessment Center. The Center conducts annual inspections of public housing to evaluate and score the performance of public housing authorities.
"This survey is a vote of confidence in the performance of housing authorities by the people who know the most about conditions in public housing," Cuomo said. "The survey results are an achievement that shows efforts by HUD and housing authorities to improve living conditions for families in need are succeeding."
A statistical sample of residents that is mathematically calculated for each housing authority to include a mix of residents was selected to receive the survey and respond by mail. Residents were asked a series of questions to gauge their satisfaction on the housing authority's responsiveness on: request for repairs, treatment by maintenance employees, safety, informing residents of meetings, and other management activities.
"For the first time, residents truly have a say in how their housing authorities are managed. We want to thank HUD for instituting the new PHAS system, which not only objectively evaluates housing authorities' performance, but gives residents the right to voice their satisfaction," said Mary Rone, President of the New Jersey Association of Pubic and Subsidized Housing Residents, Inc.
HUD began assessing housing authorities under PHAS in September 1998, giving housing authorities advisory scores to give them the opportunity to become familiar with and make the transition to the new assessment system. PHAS is the first assessment system that evaluates public housing and public housing authorities using objective, nationwide standards.
Based on advisory scores, the majority of public housing authorities are in good or excellent condition.
"The Customer Satisfaction Survey is the quality assurance measuring tool and will serve as a guide and raise the level of PHA accountability to both residents and HUD," said Mamie Bone, Chairperson of the Central Advisory Council of the Chicago Housing Authority Residents.
Nearly 1.3 million low-income families live in public housing in about 14,000 developments around the nation operated by 3,200 housing authorities. Another 3 million families live in privately owned affordable housing in about 30,000 developments that are assisted by HUD with subsidies or insurance.