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HSCD – Targeting Improvements in Housing Conditions and Public Health

Now used by 26 different local authorities throughout the UK, BRE’s HSCD targets improvements in housing conditions and helps to improve the standard of public health. Anabel Ramirez Aragon of BRE’s Housing & Health team writes.

The Housing Stock Condition Database (HSCD) is the third online tool from the BRE Housing and Health team.  The HSCD provides the dwelling level data from the BRE Housing Stock Models and has been designed to enable the user to view and query local data easily. There are a number of different options for summarising and investigating data, including the ability to generate and export lists of properties of interest. Summary tables are available by tenure for different geographic levels (LA, ward, COA etc.). Furthermore,  HSCD also allows a local authority to update individual records when required i.e. after a dwelling assessment.

HSCD compliments existing tools, the Housing Health Cost Calculator (HHCC) and Excess Cold Calculator (XCC), which support Local Authorities, EHPs and Technical Officers to provide the information they need to target improvements in house conditions, energy efficiency and public health standards.

BRE’s Housing and Health team is made up of Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs), Data Analysts and Statisticians. The BRE Housing Stock model supports local authorities through maximising the use of free and commercially available datasets in conjunction with national survey data to model the condition of their housing stock. Many authorities also choose to enhance the models by integrating local data such as Energy Performance Certificates (EPC).

The dwelling level data form the BRE Housing Stock Models can be used to support a wide range of improvement strategies.  Here are two example of just some of the work local authorities have undertaken which have used data from the BRE Housing Stock Models:

Watford Borough Council – Improving Private Sector Housing and Promoting Health & Wellbeing

Bolton Council – Tackling poor housing, protecting the most vulnerable & stimulating the local economy

Since its launch in September 2017, HSCD now hosts data from 26 different authorities who between them have 72 users.  Below are examples of some of the feedback we have had from current users.

“I think the portal is a very good method of accessing our stock condition survey data.  We have been able to download the data sets and view the dashboards, giving us an overview of the analysis carried out by the BRE.  Any queries I have had the team have resolved without issue” says Ben Potter of Liverpool City Council. “We have found the new HSCD intuitive and easy to use” say Lisa Richardson and Tina Dodd of Basildon Borough Council.

Our team have, to date, presented two live webinars which are available on demand.  The aim of these webinars is to support HSCD users through demonstrating the features of the tool, and also to share planned improvement and gain valuable customer feedback. For an introduction and demonstration of HSCD you can view the first on-demand webinar here.

Our team also want to ensure HSCD is a tool which will support local authorities to more easily monitor their housing stock condition on a continual basis.   Part of this includes linking the Housing Stock Models data to freely available data sources.  The EPC data is accessible through the HSCD with search options based on tenure and EPC bandings.  More recently a Commercial Ownership feature has been added which incorporates the Commercial and Corporate Ownership Database (CCOD) and Overseas Corporate Ownership Database (OCOD) from Land Registry.  This provides ownership details for those properties registered to companies incorporated both inside and outside the UK. It is now possible to query these datasets by searching for an address, postcode or company name.  The title numbers can also be linked to the address level data from the BRE Housing Stock Models. For further information the Commercial Ownership feature in the HSCD you can view the second on demand webinar here.

Part of being able to monitor the housing stock condition on a continual basis is updating the database when new data become available. Additional features which are in development are aimed at ensuring updated information can be reflected in reporting and further investigations. These include:

  • Real time calculations – when inputs are modified the Housing Stock Model results are updated to reflect the new information.
  • Live maps – allowing live updates of maps from the database as these are made. Maps will also be able to be manipulated by layering multiple indicators, filtering, zooming in on specific areas, as well as exporting capabilities.
  • Online reporting – generating summary reports at Local Authority and Ward level as well as for individual indicators or topics.
  • Linking to the HHCC and XCC – connecting these tools will allow data to be used across the applications ensuring consistency and time savings.

To start exploring HSCD, you sign up for a demo here.

Registration for the next free LIVE webinar is also open: Making the Most of HSCD Webinar, 30th January 2019 – Register here

The team also release quarterly newsletters which include recent case studies, changes in policy and development plans.  Sign up to receive the newsletter here. Our last newsletter (January 2019) is also available here. We are keen to hear your feedback.  Please email comments, suggestions and questions to [email protected].