Resident Assessment of Housing Quality: Lessons from Pilot Surveys
In 1998 PD&R conducted a pilot test of a mail survey as a means to obtain assessments of housing quality and customer satisfaction from residents of public and FHA-assisted housing. This pilot test used a questionnaire similar to that used in a previous study of Section 8 housing. The objectives of this study were to compare methods of distribution, as well as examining overall return rates and comparing resident data with observations from on-site inspectors. This survey was administer-ed to a sample of approximately 4,000 households located in eight counties in Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri. Key findings were:
- The survey yielded high response rates over 60% regardless of distribution, nearly 70% for FHA-assisted households when mailings were addressed to the resident, and the distribution was by mail. This also reinforced findings from the Section 8 study where rates of return were over 75%.
- Residents' overall ratings of their units' were highly consistent with assessments by on-site inspectors. Rates of agreement for individual items were frequently above 90% and for more than three-fourths of the items agreement was greater than 80%.