A Twitter chat is like a meeting on Twitter; it has a specific discussion topic and a scheduled start time. Using the hashtag #MilCents at the end of each tweet, MFAN will ask questions to a group of financial experts.
The mission of the Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN) is to connect military families with leaders and decision makers. We share the stories of those who serve and respond to their needs through collaboration and, when needed, program development. After hearing from military families about issues with privatized military housing last October, MFAN began researching the extent of the problem and launched a questionnaire three months later to gain a better understanding of the issue. This executive summary provides a high-level overview of our initial findings from the questionnaire. A full report that outlines methodology, more detailed preliminary findings, family profiles, photos, and documentation can be found here.
The online questionnaire was fielded on January 30, 2019 and remained open until February 6, 2019. During that time, 16,779 individuals responded. Participants were first asked a series of questions to determine eligibility to fit the targeted demographic. They were required to either be living in privatized military housing currently, or within the past three years. The remaining questions were also neutral in nature, inquiring whether the military family’s experience with privatized housing was favorable or not favorable.
MFAN also conducted 40 interviews with survey participants who shared their contact information. Over the next several months, MFAN will apply qualitative coding methods to gain a complete understanding of families’ perceptions of privatized military housing. In the interim, initial findings show the following:
The sheer number of questionnaire respondents is astounding. While 44.7% of respondents responded neutrally or favorably, 55.53% dissatisfaction rate is alarming. As we continue our qualitative analysis, we will learn much more about their experiences and identify geographic “hot spots” for issue areas.
Through our preliminary research it has become apparent that there is a disconnect between our findings related to resident satisfaction and what has been reported by privatized housing companies.
MFAN recommends that the Department of Defense (DoD) collaborate with nonprofit NFEs (“non-federal entities”) who support military families, such as the Military Family Advisory Network, in support of metrics-based, performance-tied initiatives to gain a more authentic understanding of the military family experience for better-informed and utilized services and programs.
Read the full report here.