Last fall SCNA spent several month’s collecting input from residents in three different small surveys that were the same questions we asked in 2005. We wanted to compare the answers to see if there were significant changes over the past ten years for residents.
Before the advent of Google Documents in 2005, SCNA sent out the entire printed 45 question survey all at once to the entire neighborhood of 1148 households. We received 122 mailed-in responses. In 2015, SCNA broke the survey into smaller portions but kept the questions pretty much the same. We made a few slight adjustments where new baseball fields had been added or the Shingle Creek Elementary School had finally gotten a new occupant but overall it was the same survey. We also added the option of completing one or all of the surveys online.
In 2005, SCNA divided the neighborhood into quadrants and compared some of its data also. With Queen Ave N as the north south divide and 51st Ave N as the east west divide. In 2005, 43% of responses came from Westside of Shingle Creek and 57% from the eastside of Queen Ave N. In 2015, 53% of responses came from Westside and 47% from eastside. And in both 2005 and 2015, 53% response came from north of 51st Ave N and 47% below.
Over the course of three months in 2015, SCNA had 86 residents overall respond completing 151 surveys. Of those nearly half were completed and mailed in. The demographics of our 2015 86 responders: 72% White, 6% African American, 6% Asian Pacific Islander, 1% Native American, 1% Hispanic, and 10% didn’t answer. 50% were under age 59, 45% were 60-85+ and 5% didn’t answer. 59% were female, 33% male. 71% were either employed full time or retired in 2015 compared to 63% in 2005. 36% have lived here less than 10 years and 63% have lived here more than 10 with 43% of those living here more than 20 years. Respondents have more education in 2015 with 49% being college graduates or post graduates while in 2005 it was only 31%. Incomes also reflect this growth in education where respondents in 2005 at 50,000 and above was 27% in 2015 its 42%.
The results to the 45 total questions, were in large part mostly similar to those from a decade ago, which in a way was pleasantly surprising and interesting. The first survey focused on the neighborhood, its assets, and people’s perceptions of public services. After ten years, 80% of residents rated the neighborhood as very good/good as opposed to 78% in 2005. Residents also still ranked the top three best things about the neighborhood as the affordability of the housing, easy access to the highways and being a safe neighborhood to live in. When asked in the past five years, how has your neighborhood changed as a place to live? 17% more residents felt the neighborhood has stayed the same. Yet when asked about neighborhood physical appearance, there was a 12% increased response about litter over 2005. When asked too to rate service satisfaction Priority Concerns & Satisfaction with Services the following Fair/poor responses grew from 2005: Crime and Safety Services 9%; Senior issues 17%; Youth issues 15%; Addressing poverty 10% increases. Shingle Creek residents love their garbage and recycling services too. When asked to rate public services, Garbage and Recycling received highest rating at 97% over Parks and Fire Protection which came in at 86%.
The second survey with 20 questions revolved around renters, housing, crime and safety, schools and neighborhood assets. There were a small percentage of nonhomeowners who responded to the survey overall. However, of the homeowner responders, 71% of them were interested in a possible home loan to improve their properties. Most were looking for help replacing older furnaces and windows. Most respondents saw a significant change in rental affordability, housing condition and home resell values. Crime and safety both in and outside the home saw over 10% increases in the Very good/good categories and safety in parks saw a 22% increase over 2005. 24% more respondents had also not been a victim of a crime since 2005. The hot spots for respondents in the neighborhood? 56% of respondents use the Shingle Creek Bike Trails and 50% use Shingle Creek and Creekview Park at 45% for more than 6 times annually.
The last survey dealt with Creekview Park programs and amenities, environment, business, and SCNA. Surprisingly, needing more lighting and signage again like in 2005 rated higher than needing more programs at Creekview Park. 64% of respondents read the SCNA newsletter and Camden News and most respondents said they would like to be more involved in their neighborhood association by attending meetings, getting involved on the board, participating in a clean up activities.
Over the course of the coming year, SCNA will be using this important feedback and continuing to seek other input from more residents to ensure we’re hearing from a broad spectrum of our neighborhood.