BUSINESS: New Tool for Planning Affordable Housing

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A new tool was launched last week by the Government Statistical Service at the Office for National Statistics that will make it easier for governments and companies to tackle housing shortages by bringing information from across the UK into a single database. 

Until recently, planning the build of new homes has been complex, as the four countries that make up the UK all held information on matters such as homelessness and housing on their own websites. In order to plan the provision of affordable housing developments, it was necessary to visit several websites, where the information they needed was often in different formats. This new tool has been created to streamline the task, making it easier and more efficient to find the necessary statistics. 

What is it?

In September 2019, the ONS launched a homelessness interactive tool that makes it possible for to compare the ways in which each country in the UK collected relevant statistics, and guides users on making comparisons between the information. The new tool is an addition to this that groups statistics in a more coherent way, with brief explanations and filters that help users find the information they need. 

How will it help with housing shortages?

Combining information on homelessness across the UK with statistics relating to demographics, affordability, waiting lists and more means developers are able to more accurately assess which areas can benefit most from different types of housing developments. In the local area, authorities have been instructed to provide more affordable housing, with work a large estate of up to 167 homes recently having been agreed on the former home of REIDsteel in Christchurch. This tool will make it easier for local authorities to see which areas are most in need of developments like this to help tackle homelessness and waiting times for affordable housing.  

For more information on the new tool, visit the Office for National Statistics’ website.

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