Calgary Housing Company 2019 Tenant Satisfaction Survey Results

CHC 2019 Tenant Satisfaction Survey Results

Calgary Housing Company strives to understand tenant experiences to better deliver affordable housing to Calgarians in need.

Calgary Housing Company is committed to providing quality homes and a positive experience for its tenants. As part of efforts to continually improve service delivery, CHC regularly conducts a Tenant Satisfaction Survey. The last survey was completed in the fall of 2019.This research bulletin provides an overview of some of the key results as well as highlights of actions taken in response to these results.

CHC’s Tenant Satisfaction Survey is designed to measure tenant satisfaction with service delivery, processes, and the overall customer experience when tenants are dealing with the organization. The 2019 survey was conducted via telephone and online between October 9 and 26, 2019. A total of 500 tenants completed the survey – a response rate of 48%.

As a wholly owned subsidiary of the City of Calgary, CHC works with other levels of government, non-profits, and private sector partners to provide safe and affordable housing solutions for low- and moderate-income Calgarians. CHC manages over 7,100 affordable homes and serves nearly 25,000 Calgarians, including almost 10,000 children.

The information provided from this survey builds off of the first survey conducted in 2017 and will be used to help monitor business and direct decision-making to better plan for the future. The survey results provide insight into how service delivery can be improved, how clients can be better supported, and to ensure programs are operated in a way that matters to the people who call CHC managed housing home.

About the Respondents

A total of 500 tenants completed the survey, which consisted of an equal distribution of tenants across all three CHC districts in the east, west and south areas of Calgary, and all three of CHC’s program types – Social Housing (Deep Subsidy), Affordable Housing (Moderate Subsidy), and Low End of Market Housing (Low subsidy). The breakdown of survey respondents is as follows:

  • 57% female and 43% male
  • 31% aged 18-34; 29% aged 35-44, 32% aged 45-64 and 9% aged 65+
  • 33% employed full time; 16% not in labor force; 15% employed part time; 15% looking for work
  • 40% identify as a visible minority
  • 12% identify as Indigenous
  • 42% born outside of Canada
  • 29% identify as having a disability
  • How CHC has impacted tenants

    Overall the response from tenants is that CHC has made life more affordable because the lower cost of rent allows tenants to pay for other necessities and to provide for their families. The following comments were shared by tenants in response to the question “How has CHC impacted your life?”

  • CHC’s Overall Satisfaction Rating: C+

    The overall satisfaction with services provided by CHC remains fairly high at 73%. Satisfaction is highest among tenants who are 18-34 years of age, in the west and east districts, in the affordable housing program, who have no plans to move out.

    According to the survey results, key drivers of overall tenant satisfaction are the most recent contact with CHC (25%), the condition of their building (11%), the application process (10%), the condition of their home (8%) and being listened to and treated with respect (8%).

    Most tenants agree that CHC supports diversity and inclusion (80%) and that CHC cares about their well-being (65%) and 79% of tenants are proud of their home.

  • Application and Move-In Rating: A-

    Summary of Findings 

    Overall, tenants are very satisfied with the application and move-in process at 81% and 82% respectively. Satisfaction with the lease signing process dropped by 10% since 2017 to 82%.

    Suggestions from tenants to improve the move-in process include shorter wait times and a wider variety of housing options (17%), flexible move-in and walkthrough dates and times (15%), better maintenance and cleaning prior to move-in (14%), more thorough walkthroughs (12%), more knowledgeable and informative staff (10%) and property functioning and locked elevators (9%).

    What CHC is doing in response:

    • Upgrading our software to improve the application process.
    • Implemented new electronic lease signing option.
    • Developing a tenant onboarding program to prepare tenants for successful tenancies, including a tenant handbook to be released winter 2020.
    • Advocating for funding to increase the supply of affordable housing to meet needs and shorten wait times.
  • Condition of Property, Building and Home Rating: D

    Summary of Findings 

    Although satisfaction rates with building and home have increased compared to 2017, they remain an area for improvement. 60% of tenants say they are satisfied with the condition of their property and building, and 66% are satisfied with condition of the home.

    Satisfaction with the level of safety and security with a tenant’s building and home decreased by 9% to 66% compared to 2017. Perceptions of safety are lowest among tenants who are a visible minority, have a disability and those who live in the east district.

    The top concerns tenants have with their properties are poor maintenance, safety concerns, and litter or garbage on the property. Secondary concerns include unruly tenants, lack of response from building manager, inadequate housing options, need for the property to be renovated and pest control.

    What CHC is doing in response:

    • Improved asset management plans for CHC units.
    • Advocacy for maintenance funding from all levels of government
    • Reviewing security protocols and contracts for effectiveness.
    • Refining policies, procedures and partnerships that help ensure safe and healthy homes.
  • Maintenance and Repairs Rating: B+

    Summary of Findings

    Tenants who responded to the survey were generally satisfied with repair quality at 80%, and timeliness of repairs at 79%. Half of the survey respondents had a repair completed within the last 3 months of the survey date and the top types of repairs were plumbing at 30%, lock and door repairs at 14% and general maintenance at 11%.

    Nearly one third of recent repairs were initiated by CHC, which reflects our efforts to become more proactive. Additionally, two thirds of recent repairs took place within one week , especially if they were furnace, electrical or plumbing repairs and tenant satisfaction with the courtesy of building maintenance workers during these repairs was the top rated question in the survey at 90%.

    What CHC is doing in response:

    • Upgrading our software to better support maintenance requests and repairs.
    • Refining policies and procedures that ensure fair and equitable procurement of services and supplies.
    • Moving to planned preventative maintenance activities.
  • Contact and Communication Rating: B- (Key Driver)

    Summary of Findings

    More than half of the tenants surveyed had contacted CHC within the past 6 months. The top reasons for last contact was maintenance at 41%, lease renewal at 17%, and 10% of last contact was to lodge a complaint. Nearly three quarters of tenants indicated they used phone as their most recent method of contact.

    Tenants also indicated a strong preference for phone as the primary method for CHC to contact them at more than three quarters.

    What CHC is doing in response:

    • Upgrading software to better support client interactions with CHC
    • Improved access to information on CHC website
    • Regular Tenant email newsletter [Subscribe]
  • Tenant Well-being, Concerns and Future Plans:

    Summary of Findings

    The following survey results explore tenant well-being, concerns and future plans. Delivering quality services to contribute to individual and community well-being is one of CHC’s strategic priorities.

    • 60% of tenants report a good quality of life (compared to 78% of Calgarians)
    • The top reasons for positive scores are: good/happy life (26%), affordability (21%), a home that fits needs (19%) and able to provide for family (16%).
    • The top reasons for negative scores are: unmet health needs (55%), poor or no job (32%), unaffordability (30%), and inability to provide for family (15%).
    • 70% of tenants are satisfied with their health, 69% with their current life, and 65% with their future security.
    What CHC is doing in response:

    • CHC’s tenant liaisons support tenants who may be dealing with issues at home, in their building, or in their community by providing referrals to various resources that provide access to food, financial resources and support for issues such as arrears.
    • RentSmart program provides education and assistance to tenants to support successful tenancies.
    • Tenants generally feel safe in their homes (77%) and at home in their community (75%), but have a somewhat lower sense of belonging and feeling of safety in their community (70% and 68% respectively).
    • 34% of tenants had safety and/or legal concerns, 32% were concerned with pests, and 29% were concerned with rent assistance.
    • 26% of CHC tenants plan to move out in 1-2 years, 25% plan to move out in 3-5 years, 23% of tenants plan to move out in 5 or more years. 19% of tenants have no plans to move out.
    • Half of tenants want to pursue homeownership after moving out.



Recent News
Tenant Handbook

In Summer 2020 we compiled a new Printable PDF version of important information for tenants. You will find details on how to connect with CHC, guidance on the programs we provide, and advice on maintenance and management of your home. Keep a copy of the PDF on your device or print your own hardcopy. Download CHC Tenant Handbook 2020

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You can participate by:

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