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“What Homes Where?” - Free Online Toolkit Launched

Date: 12/3/2013

A leading group of housing and planning organisations, including the Planning Officers Society, has launched a toolkit that will allow anyone - at the click of a button and free of charge - to  find out how the population of their area has grown to what it is today and what the official projections say about how it might change in the future. 

Against the backdrop of the Government's ambitions to devolve powers to the local level and streamline national policy, the Local Housing Requirements Assessment Working Group (LHRAWG), came together in 2011 in response to a call from practitioners for practical support in assessing how many homes were needed in their areas in the context of the new housing and planning framework.

The tool, called "What Homes Where?" and its companion guide, are available free from http://www.howmanyhomes.org

Nicky Linihan, Chair of the LHRAWG and Convenor of the POS Housing, Regeneration & Economic Development Topic Forum, said: "'What Homes Where?' is a great example of what can be achieved through a spirit of co-operation.  It has been developed as a result of the hard work of the cross sector housing and planning organisations that have come together to support this toolkit. The end product is a fantastic online resource that is free to use and provides the information in an accessible way,  allowing practitioners and communities alike to understand what housing is likely to be needed in their areas."

NickyLinihan.jpg Nicky Linihan

  • How does the toolkit work?
    • This unique toolkit, "What Homes Where?", provides easy access to ONS and DCLG statistics and projections based on local authority boundaries.  The users select the area they are interested in from a drop down list and the tool creates graphs and tables which provide answers to questions like, "What role has migration played in changes to our community?", "Are there likely to be more or fewer families in the future?" and "How many older people are we likely to need to plan for?"  These are crucial questions in planning for housing.
    • The tool also provides the opportunity to look at what is happening in adjoining areas based on a consistent approach, the number and age of people moving into and out of an area, and  understand what effect alternative assumptions to those used in the official projections would have on the future shape of the local population.
    • The tool  enables everyone with an interest in the number and type of homes that need to be planned for in an area to access the basic facts.  This provides  a starting point and context for the consideration of local issues and informed debate.

The LHRAWG includes the Town and Country Planning Association, Shelter, Royal Town Planning Institute, Planning Officers Society, Home Builders Federation, National Housing Federation, Chartered Institute of Housing, the Local Government Association, Building and Social Housing Federation, British Property Federation, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Northern Housing Consortium.

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