Housing at YPG tops the list of excellent customer service: 2023 plans include park updates and lawn equipment
Desert Oasis Housing at Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) ranks number two out of 43 installations and 383 housing neighborhoods in the 20212022 Tenant Satisfaction and Opinion Survey.
Desert Oasis is private housing run by The Michael’s Organization.
“It just fills us with a sense of pride, and we want to live up to that expectation of lifting lives,” said Kristel Steib, community director. “This is how we can do it, making sure our service members are provided for and cared for and making sure their homes are to par. Then we have the civilian staff that the mission relies on heavily. We just want to make them happy.”
The team at YPG has been in the top five for the last five years and number two twice.
The CEL & Associates, Inc. survey of privatized housing on Army installations assess topics such as tenant satisfaction with their home, landscaping, quality of maintenance, and customer service.
Desert Oasis personnel are responsible for leasing and maintaining the housing on the YPG installation along with the landscaping exclusively on housing grounds.
The housing team is made up of 10 employees: five maintenance technicians, two grounds maintenance, one housekeeper, and two office personnel. While they are a small team, its members are all familiar with the residents: most of the staff has been in their position for 10 years or more. Their familiarity with the units and residents helps when responding to calls. Those calls can come at any time.
“They always have an on-call phone explained Richard Trelease, Chief of Housing at YPG, “They are on top of it all the time.”
In 2022, the team received nearly 160 air conditioner calls and they replaced 16 units. The maintenance team strives to perform routine maintenance requests within
24-hours, if not the same day.
Trelease is the liaison between the privatized housing and the government. He is responsible for making sure Desert Oasis Housing upholds the Army standards.
The survey provides Housing feedback on how they can improve the lives of their tenants.
Steib gave the example, “Last year comments we had seen said that people drive too fast on Halo and Quick, so we reacted, worked with
DPW [Directorate of Public Works], and we got speed bumps.”
The Desert Oasis community can expect new amenities in 2023. A new playground set in Cutter Park is expected in February. Other parks will get updates such as new mulch. The plan is to allot money in the budget to replace the playground equipment in a second park.
A self-help program will start up in the spring, which will allow tenants to sign out lawn equipment to use to maintain their yards.
“We’ll have two electric lawn movers, two weedwhackers, two trimmers available,” remarked Steib.
They will also be adding a third grounds maintenance employee. Desert Oasis is responsible for the common areas within the housing department. Landscaping of the garrison and test locations on the installation is upkept by Shearwater.
Overall, the Desert Oasis staff and the YPG Housing Department are pleased to see the survey results.
“I attribute it to us being able to work closely,” added Trelease. “The maintenance team and Kristel and Christie are amazing.”