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HUD Customer Satisfaction Report
Chapter 1 - Community Planning and Development
Secretary Henry G. Cisneros has articulated a clear mission for HUD, which is to help create cohesive, economically healthy communities � communities of opportunity � throughout the United States. A critical aspect of this mission is to significantly imp rove service to our customers. The primary purpose of this document is for HUD, in cooperation with the National Performance Review, to report on our customer service improvements. In assessing customer satisfaction, we have conducted an analysis which is intended to answer the following questions.
It is our hope that this document has effectively responded to these important questions. Before providing a response to these questions, it should be noted that HUD considers its ultimate customers to be individuals and families who benefit from its program and activities. To understand HUD�s relationship to its customers, it should be noted that there are three primary interactions which occur:
HUD has used a variety of methods and techniques to obtain feedback from customers, including surveys of providers of local services, use of State and local participation groups, use of the World Wide Web, forums and training sessions, regular meetings wi th advocacy groups, research and analysis, the use of 1-800 telephone numbers, customer inquiry and follow-up, and program monitoring by HUD staff.
In our Community Planning and Development (CPD) area, a survey was conducted to determine the future direction of the homeless program. Respondents were asked to suggest improvements in the delivery of homeless services and identify priority issues to be addressed in the Department�s homeless plan. In the area of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO), a survey of partners was conducted to determine their satisfaction with FHEO support and services. In addition, some 350 Fair Housing discrimination complainants were surveyed to determine how effectively they were served.
Second, are HUD�s customer service standards about the things that matter most to our customers?
Standards such as these are designed to assure that the Department is on track toward becoming a world class customer service organization. As an example of timely service, CPD has determined that the Consolidated Plan for a community must be approved in 45 days. Meeting this standard was determined to be so critical that a decision was made that if a response was not received within 45 days, approval would be automatic.
Third, are results reported to customers?
Fourth, what changes have been made or will be made as a result of customer feedback?
The key lessons learned in this process of enhancing and strengthening customer service have been that:
the real secret of effective customer service is ensuring that customers have a real voice in the nature, scope and location of services � facilities need to be provided locally with federal assistance; and, the Federal Government must permit more flexibility, utilizing a "bottom-up" rather than a "top-down" planning approach. To accomplish this, customers must be provided with an opportunity for early and on-going input into the planning and development pro cess, and they must be given clear and timely reports on what has been achieved.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009