Default hero image

News Update from BRE’s Housing and Health Team – September 2018

Commercial Ownership Data

The Housing and Health team have been analysing the recently released Commercial and Corporate Ownership Data (CCOD) and Overseas Companies Ownership Data (OCOD) from Land Registry.  The main questions we have been trying to answer are as follows:

  1. Can this information be used to identify all properties owned by registered providers?
  2. Would the remaining properties therefore provide a list of privately rented properties?

We expect to be making the CCOD and OCOD data available to new and existing customers of the HSCD in the near future for a modest annual fee.  Through the Commercial Ownership tab on the HSCD it will be possible to search the database by company name, property address, postcode or title number.  A summary function will also be included, which will provide a list of companies that own properties in your local area.  This will be ranked by number of properties owned to allow easy identification of the larger companies operating in your authority.

Address information provided as part of the BRE Housing Stock Models will also include a title number where the address is present on the CCOD or OCOD to enable the ownership information to be viewed for that address.

Join our next webinar…

Rosie Winn and Anabel Ramirez Aragon of the Housing and Health Team will be hosting a Webinar on Tuesday 25th September to demonstrate the new Commercial Ownership feature on the HSCD and to discuss our progress on using the CCOD and OCOD to identify tenure of individual properties.   Registration for the webinar is now open and can be accessed by the link below

BRE Housing Stock Condition Database – new commercial ownership feature (Tuesday 25th September, 12.30-1.30pm)

Licensable Households in Multiple Occupation update

On 1st October 2018 the scope of mandatory HMO licensing is expanding. The main change sees the removal of the minimum storey requirement. For a full explanation of the changes the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has issued guidance available here.

BRE offers an additional service to our stock models that predicts the possible number of HMOs and licensable HMOs within a local authority area. If you would like any more information about this please contact us at [email protected].

The Warm Arm of the Law – Tackling Fuel Poverty in the Private Rented Sector

The Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE), working in partnership with CAG Consultants, have published the Warm Arm of the Law, an Ebico Trust funded research project looking at the extent to which the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) are being proactively implemented and enforced by local authorities across England and Wales. Ian Watson, of BRE’s Housing & Health team, writes a summary here.

SAP 10.0

The UK’s National Calculation Methodology for energy rating of dwellings, known as the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) is updated from time to time. The latest version used for all official purposes is SAP 2012. An updated version of SAP, SAP 10.0, has been published to allow users to examine changes ahead of its eventual use. This version reflects the consultation and Government response on proposed changes to SAP. As such it is not a consultation version, however any comments can be directed to [email protected]. The method will need some changes in preparation for its eventual use, e.g. following the Part L consultation this winter.

The SAP 10.0 specification document can be downloaded from this link, but please watch the SAP page for supportive documentation and links to access the software implementation of the method.

Customer Story

Choosing Health – Watford Borough Council

“The key to success in health inequalities will be effective local partnerships led by councils and the NHS working to a common purpose” – says the government’s white paper “Choosing Health”.

Using the 2004 stock condition survey information and the 2017 Stock Modelling and Health Impact Assessment (HIA) carried out for the council by the Building Research Establishment (BRE), Watford Borough Council has developed a policy to improve and maintain private sector housing standards, to promote health, wellbeing and sustainability in which available resources are targeted at those most in need.

Housing is a key determinant of health, and poor housing conditions continue to cause preventable deaths and contribute to health inequalities. In Watford (and nationally) ‘Falls’ and ‘Excess cold’ are by far the most common housing related defects in the home that affect health.

With limited resources the policy seeks to provide added value and greater impact by making use of external and other sources of funding in conjunction with exploiting the opportunities to work with our partners. The council already has an excellent track record in this area such as using Energy Company Obligation funding and government grants and initiatives to improve housing conditions in Watford. Current financial assistance is limited in its reach and ability to help large numbers of residents. To broaden the number of people it can help, the policy will use a pro-active project based approach for some of the financial assistance.  The council now has more information available on housing conditions in the borough and can specifically target projects based on housing characteristics and household need. Alongside this project based approach, other individual grants and loans will be targeted at our most vulnerable residents with applications for assistance via a referral from a housing or health based professional.

As well as making substantial savings to the NHS and to society, this policy has th potential to improve economic prosperity and also reduce the demands for services provided by the council.

Another use of the data provided by the stock modelling was to complete a targeted mail out to residents.  The data enabled the council to specifically target dwellings of certain age bands, with poor EPC’s as well as likely properties that had low or no insulation.  The mail out was to promote our Hertfordshire wide Herts Warmer Homes insulation scheme and following the targeted mailing we saw a huge spike in referrals with Watford receiving over a third of the total referrals between the 10 district authorities.  We are also able to target our low income housing.

For more detailed information, please download Watford’s Private Sector Renewal Policy.

Did You Know?

Flexible Eligibility

The government’s response to the ECO3 consultation confirms that ECO3 will begin in October this year and will run until March 2022. The entire scheme will now focus on supporting low income, vulnerable and fuel poor households. One of the main differences to ECO2t is the increase in the proportion of the scheme that can be delivered under local authority flexible eligibility to 25% (compared to 10% under ECO2t). This means that local authorities have an important role in assisting in the identification of private sector households which would be eligible. The local authority will still need to publish a Statement of Intent (SoI) describing the criteria against which they will then determine eligible households. BRE have previously carried out projects for several local authorities which has already been used to help inform local authorities approaches to flexible eligibility under ECO2t – e.g. York and Peterborough.

Ian Watson BRE and Carl Petrokofsky Public Health Specialist for the Healthy Places team Public Health England

House of Lords

Every year Foundations, the national body for Home Improvement Agencies, celebrates the achievements of the sector through an awards ceremony. Designed to highlight the most innovative services and inspirational teams, agencies can compete in seven different categories including HIA service and Handyperson service of the year. This year’s awards ceremony took place on 18th July at the House of Lords, hosted by Lord Richard Best and attended by those fortunate enough to be shortlisted. Organisations with an interest in improving health through the home were also invited to support the occasion. This included central government departments, third sector organisations and BRE. Each award category was introduced by a sponsor, with the wining team receiving a trophy, and commended agencies a certificate.

Following the ceremony and afternoon tea, there was plenty of time for networking, with the terrace overlooking the Thames a very attractive place to talk and take photographs. Carl Petrokofsky, Specialist in Public Health at PHE who announced the winner for the Collaboration Award, reluctantly agreed to a ‘selfie’!

Useful Events and Training

BRE Fire Research Conference 2018 – 18 September, BRE, Watford

FREE webinar – HSCD Commercial Ownership, 25th September at 12:30. Register here.

Establishing a Shift Towards a Resilient Built Environment – webinar

Finally – Keep in Touch

We want to keep you updated on what’s new in the world of housing and health, as well as provide some insight into some of the work our customers have been doing. Please go to our online preference centre and opt-in to receive regular communications from BRE – if you select to receive the monthly BRE e-news we will include a quarterly reminder for the publication of this news update on BRE Buzz. Additionally, if you have specific queries please e-mail us at [email protected] and for more information on our services go to