GSB sends out rental housing quality survey

Emelie Knobloch

The Government of Student Body will be sending a survey via email to students today to assess the level of problem areas that student renters are facing in Ames.

“It is really important that we get as many responses as possible,” said Alexandria Harvey, student representative for the City Council. “I would really like to create awareness.”

Addressing the housing needs of the citizens of Ames is one of City Council’s goals for the 2014-2015 year.

“The survey is meant to collect data to allow us to then develop an action plan,” said Spencer Hughes, GSB president.

An objective in this goal is to work with Iowa State, GSB and the Ames Rental Association to explore a way to educate and help mediate conflict and resolution issues.

“The survey measures the different aspects of the quality of landlord services,” Hughes said.

The survey is about 15 questions and consists of several different types of questions.

“This will help us determine which areas need the most focus in the realm of tenants protections,” Hughes said.

The survey includes a chart of where students can rate statements on a scale of one to five about their current living condition.

“Our city council liaison, Harvey, told the council that we, GSB, would meet with all the stakeholders and come back with an action plan for council,” Hughes said.

This chart includes statements about the condition of student’s windows, doors, working locks, rodents, pests, smoke detectors, appliances, heat, lighting and plumbing.

“We need feedback from student tenants if any progress is to be made in this area,” Hughes said.

A few questions on the survey relate to the relationship between the student and the landlord.

Maintenance requests and the execution of the requests in both emergency and non-emergency situations are also brought up a few times on the survey.

“I encourage all of the students [who] are currently off-campus renters in the city of Ames to submit the survey,” Hughes said.

There is a place at the end of the survey for students to describe any issues they have had in regards to rental housing.

The City Council met with the city of Ames staff in mid-January to begin organizing this program.

“We hope to get a large response,” Hughes said. “ We would really like to get students involved in the process as well as the community.”

The survey asks if the student’s landlord or a member of the landlord’s staff has ever entered into the student’s unit without his or her consent or a 24-hours notice.

The survey was co-authored by Anne Kinzel and Alexandria Harvey.