Knowing our Homes - Housing associations' current data collection practices

21 February 2024

Today we're publishing our findings on how social landlords are currently gathering and using data about the condition of their homes, and about their residents.

As part of the action plan we published together with CIH in response to the Better Social Housing Review, we have committed to a range of work to address the issues identified by the independent panel. One of the key recommendations is to improve how social housing providers collect and use data – both about the condition of the homes they manage and about who lives in them.

We are responding to this recommendation through a programme of work called Knowing our Homes and a key aim for this work is to support social landlords to meet upcoming regulatory requirements.  

The first stage of Knowing our Homes has involved identifying how social landlords are currently gathering and using data about the condition of their homes, and about their residents. It is vital we understand what social landlords are currently doing, so that our proposals address existing challenges and build on best practice.

To help us build this evidence base, we ran a survey in September 2023. We received responses from housing associations of different sizes, from organisations that own as few as 10 homes to organisations with over 100,000. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to our survey. 

The results allow us to understand how approaches to the collection and use of data vary across housing associations of different sizes.

Key findings

  • Housing associations are increasingly aiming to conduct 100% rolling stock condition surveys every five years.
  • There is not currently a consistent approach to what information is collected during stock condition surveys beyond assessing compliance with the Decent Homes Standard. Some housing associations also collect information to determine EPC ratings, details of any hazards above what is required to assess compliance with the Decent Homes Standard, broader condition information, and information about any damp and mould.
  • The majority of respondents said they have a process in place to proactively check property condition in between stock condition surveys.
  • There are differences in how larger and smaller housing associations gather and use data. Some larger housing associations are developing predictive data models and tools to identify properties that are likely to require future repair or remediation works. Smaller housing associations have a good understanding of the condition of their homes and the needs of their residents through frequent, regular interactions with them.
  • It is common for housing associations to store some information about residents, particularly data about the number of residents in each household, residents’ relevant health issues or disabilities, residents’ communication needs, and their ethnicity.
  • Housing associations take different approaches to keeping information about residents up to date. The most common approach reported was to check and update details with residents during routine interactions. Smaller housing associations said that their staff get to know residents well through regular communications.
  • Housing associations regularly use data to assess how equitably they deliver their services, and many noted this is an area they are developing in.
  • Housing associations have been working to improve how they maintain the condition of their homes.

For survey analysis, please download the full report.

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Who to speak to

Kevin Garvey, Head of Member Relations