Data Story: The housing profiles project- Showing local housing need and development

The Cambridge sub-region housing profiles show information about housing stock, households and data about affordable housing demand at a parish or ward level. It combines secondary data sources such as the 2011 Census with primary data from the local housing needs register about where people want to live, and where homes have become available in the previous five years.

The profiles were originally developed for St Edmundsbury with the aim of giving a strategic overview of housing in the district and identifying areas for new development of different types of housing. Officers could then start conversations with key parish councils where housing for some groups appears to be in high demand. Following demonstration to the Cambridge sub-region housing board, the development of the tool was expanded to cover Cambridgeshire districts and Forest Heath.

In order to allow greatest accessibility to the information, the housing profiles are presented in a number of ways including: • an interactive data atlas • Excel spreadsheet presenting a profile of each parish and city ward • comparator data where possible, at the district, regional and national level.

Presenting this data in different ways (the numbers, the graphs and the maps) is a good way to engage with different audiences and enables the end user to customise the display and data to their needs. The spreadsheet profiles have been very clearly set out to be printer friendly for taking data to areas where internet access is not available.

How this work has been used

Cambridgeshire ACRE (rural community council) continues to conduct village housing needs surveys, but find the housing profiles information useful when talking to local parish councils about the evidence base for housing locally. For this reason we have been invited to present a workshop about the evidence base for rural affordable housing at a regional Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) conference

East Cambridgeshire District Council is in the process of a project which aims to equip parish councils with a suite of information about housing in their area called the Towns and Villages Data Project, of which the housing profiles tool is an important element. This project will equip parish councils with information about different housing needs in their area and empower them when talking to the local authority about the type of housing required in their area.

Data about the number of lettings and number of bids per property are available on this Open Data portal at Parish preference, lettings and bidding behaviours. To see the full profiles, see the housing profiles page at Cambridgeshire Insight



For further information please contact:

Polly Jackson – Senior Research Officer

Cambridgeshire Research Group

SH1012, Shire Hall

Cambridge CB3 0AP

Tel: 01223715308


Twitter: @polljax or via @CambsInsight