UK housing data standard promises efficiencies

Friday, February 9, 2018

A newly released data standard is the first step in an envisioned common platform for the United Kingdom’s housing providers to manage and integrate information. HACT, an agency providing business and technological resources to the housing sector, the standards development body, OSCRE International and 17 local housing associations collaborated to develop the standard, which is now freely available.

Version 1.0 of the UK housing data standard provides the framework for information management and facilitates integration of data related to vacancies, unit allocation and tenants’ records. HACT is now recruiting partners to help develop future modules to track repairs and maintenance, response to complaints, collection of rent and service charges, and developer handover of new buildings.

Proponents of the new standard say it supports administrative and cost efficiencies, enhances transparency and allows for benchmarking, and enables more rapid introduction of smart and IoT technologies. If widely adopted, the standard would take the place of numerous inconsistent approaches to data management.

“It lays the necessary foundations to move us from a sector characterized by bad data to one that places standards at the heart of our data processes and governance,” observes Andrew van Doorn, HACT’s chief executive.

“It is a major step forward for the UK housing sector and places them at the vanguard of an international collaboration of improving the use and integrity of data,” says Lisa Stanley, CEO of OSCRE International.

This follows the Netherlands’ pioneering social housing data standard, known as CORA, which inspired the UK developers. Meanwhile, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation will go into effect May 25, 2018 to harmonize data privacy laws in all member states. All organizations and businesses that process personal data in the course of offering goods and/or services to citizens of the EU will be required to comply.

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