In June 2022, University Family Housing (UFH) conducted a survey with the tenants of Huron-Sussex to collect feedback on various
areas including staff, communications, services and facilities, and community programming. The survey was available for anonymous tenant responses from May 30 – June 30, 2022. The survey was distributed to all Faculty Housing and Student Family Housing tenants at Huron-Sussex via email. Long-Term Tenants at Huron-Sussex were notified through a letter delivered to their door, which gave them the option to complete the survey online or submit a paper copy of the survey, which was also provided.
The purpose of this survey was to enable the team at UFH to identify aspects of the community which are working well and what areas can be improved upon. UFH will continue to distribute this survey annually to ensure that residents continually have an opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns, and to report on the progress UFH makes on actionable items year over year. This document highlights some of the key findings from the 2022 survey results.
27 Faculty Housing tenants
20 Long-Term tenants
5 Student Family Housing tenants
housing Office and Admissions Office
Residents Are Overall, Very Satisfied With Staff
Friendliness of Staff
Knowledge / Helpfulness
Efficiency / Timeliness
Tenants in both Faculty Housing and Student Family Housing are overall very satisfied with Housing and Admissions Staff, rating them as either “Good” or “Excellent”.
Customer Service Needs Improvement
When soliciting feedback on staff performance, improvements to customer service and communication between the staff and tenants were highlighted.
“Staff were fine overall, but could have been more pleasant.“
To address this, UFH will be sharing survey results with staff members and additional training and resources for staff to improve service are being evaluated.
Housing and Admissions Processes Are Unclear and Complicated
Residents also mentioned that processes were complicated and unclear. UFH has taken these processes under review and is currently streamlining them based on the feedback provided.
“More information on the different housing processes.“
“Staff were sometimes unaccommodating with questions we had.“
Property Manager and Property Superintendent and Cleaner
When asked about their satisfaction levels for how emergency and non-emergency maintenance concerns were addressed, tenants were overall very satisfied. When rating the timeliness in addressing concerns and the satisfaction of the resolution, both the Property Manager and Superintendent and Cleaner were rated as either “Good” or “Excellent”.
Satisfaction With Non-Emergency Request Resolution
Timeliness Addressing Emergency
Customer Service Needs Improvement
Although tenants reported overall satisfaction, an area of improvement that was identified for the Property Manager and Superintendent and Cleaners was customer service.
“Staff are very accessible, but it would be nice if they were more receptive to ideas or suggestions we have.”
In response to this, UFH will be sharing the results of this survey with Canlight, the property management company contracted for Huron-Sussex, and additional training and resources for staff to improve service and responsiveness are being evaluated.
Quality Of Workmanship Needs Improvement
When asked what improvements tenants would like to see made to the properties, many highlighted their concerns about the quality of workmanship.
“Repairs should be made to last long-term instead of quick fixes.“
To address this, UFH will be reviewing these comments with the existing property management company. Additionally, UFH is also evaluating hiring a Property Operations Coordinator for the Huron-Sussex neighbourhood. This role would provide oversight on the day-to-day operations and ensure the quality of work is held to a higher standard.
Residents Prefer Email As Their Primary Method of Communication
Tenants prefer to receive communications via email, ranking that as their preferred method of communication for planned maintenance specific to their unit, planned maintenance that is community wide, and unplanned (emergency) maintenance. Paper notices delivered to tenants’ doors was the second most preferred option for all scenarios as well, other than emergency maintenance.
Communication Preferences For Planned Maintenance Specific to Unit
Paper Notices Delivered to Unit
Communication Preferences For Planned Maintenance That Is Community Wide
Paper Notices Delivered to Apartment
Posters On Community Message Board
Communication Preferences For Unplanned (Emergency) Maintenance
Staff Going Door-to-Door
Paper Notices Delivered to Unit
Direct Methods of Communication Are Preferred
In response to these preferences for direct communication, UFH will continue to tailor their communication methods this way and will be exploring the feasibility of additional communication channels, such as SMS text notifications.
“I prefer to be notified of important information by both email and through text.“
Communication Procedures Need Consistency
UFH also noted that there is a lack of consistency with staff and
no clear communication procedure for tenants to report repairs or other maintenance requests. The vast majority of tenants stated they use email to submit maintenance requests, rather than through the online portal. Tenants also provided written feedback that they submit requests via text. Going forward, UFH will ensure there are clear communication channels for submitting and receiving work requests for non-emergency and emergency repairs.
“I text property management staff when I need to report a repair.“
Maintenance Requests Submitted Via Online Portal 11%
Maintenance Requests Submitted Via Email 89%
Faculty Housing Communal Laundry Rooms
Communal laundry facilities are only available for some of the Faculty Housing tenants. Of those who were applicable, over half were either satisfied or very satisfied with the facilities.
Satisfied or Very Satisfied 55%
Dissatisfied or Very Dissatisfied 45%
Status Of Laundry Equipment Needs More Attention
When asked what improvements could be made to the communal laundry facilities, many respondents stated the equipment needed to be better maintained and repaired in a timelier manner.
To address this, UFH will be sharing this feedback with the existing property management team and assessing the equipment that needs replacing. The Property Operations Coordinator that UFH is evaluating hiring for the Huron-Sussex neighbourhood would also be a point of contact for tenants to direct questions to and identify problems.
“Washers will be broken for long periods of time meaning there are often not enough machines available.”
Hallways and Stairwells
There Is Room For Improvement With Hallways and Stairwells
Although the majority of tenants reported to be satisfied with their hallways and stairwells, UFH recognizes there is still room for improvement. They will be working with the Property Manager to increase attention and inspection of these areas.
“Stairwell carpeting looks quite shabby and unclean.“
Satisfied or Very Satisfied 77%
Dissatisfied or Very Dissatisfied 23%
Snow Removal, Spring / Summer Landscaping, and Garbage Removal
Tenants are very satisfied with the outdoor services provided to them, rating Snow Removal, Spring/Summer Landscaping, and Garbage Removal services as either “Satisfied” or “Very Satisfied”.
Spring / Summer Landscaping
Environmental Impact Of Services Is Of Concern
Although tenants are satisfied with these services, many highlighted concerns over the environmental impact some of the services may be having, including overuse of road salt.
“I appreciate the shovelling for snow removal, but feel like less salt could be used overall.“
UFH recognizes these concerns and agrees that the landscaping and snow removal approach should be more thoughtful. They will be reviewing these protocols with a focus on creating long-term goals for soil and plant life.
Tenants Are Looking For Bike Storage, Better Appliances, And Greenspace
When soliciting feedback on additional property improvements that could be made, tenants are most interested in adding bike storage options, replacing kitchen appliances, and creating more greenspace.
“More bike racks would be very helpful.“
“Improve the kitchen appliances.“
“Plant more trees and bushes.“
UFH will be exploring ways to enact these suggested property improvements.
Broken Garbage Cans Are Causing Pest Problems
When soliciting feedback on landscaping services, tenants highlighted concerns regarding city wildlife and pest control.
“Garbage bins have holes which is attracting rats and other wildlife.“
UFH takes these concerns very seriously and will be replacing broken garbage/recycling bins to help mitigate the issue and will be seeking assistance from wildlife experts to help address the problem long-term.
Tenants Want Community Programming For Huron-Sussex
Currently, UFH offers programs and events to their Charles Street community and is looking to expand these program offerings to the Huron-Sussex community. When asked their interest in offsite recreational programming hosted by UFH, the majority of Huron-Sussex tenants said they were interested.
Interest in Community Programming
Tenants Want a Mixture of Programming Types
Tenants expressed interest in having a mix of programming types, for both children and adults, and are looking for these events and programs to be held in-person.
Interest in Programming for Both Families/Children and Adults-Only
Interest in In-Person Programming or a Combination Of In-Person and Virtual
In response to the desire for more programming, UFH has already hosted the first ever Faculty Housing Summer Social, for new and returning faculty housing tenants and their families. UFH will also be evaluating hiring a Community Life Coordinator role to oversee future events and programs in the neighbourhood and be a point of contact for tenants to reach out to for community resources.
Tenants Are Interested In Discussing Survey Results
Over half of respondents said they were interested in participating in a virtual discussion regarding these survey results.
Participating in a Virtual Discussion on Survey Results
For more information on this survey, please reach out to UFH