A consortium of more than ten housing providers, led by sector ideas and innovation agency HACT, today launched a major initiative to create a common data standard for the social housing sector that stands ready to revolutionise the housing digital landscape.
The project, which paves the way for the adoption of a new, standardised data descriptions across the sector is poised to transform the way housing providers store, interpret and share data. It will enable more effective systems integration, more cost effective technology-led innovation, and better performance benchmarking. It also holds the potential for lower cost overheads associated with mergers, at a time of consolidation across the sector.
Drawing on the success of the Dutch data standard CORA, the project builds on previous work by the Cora|UK team, a group of housing organisations and sector partners, who had been working for the past two years to establish the building blocks for most radical change in housing, data and tech for a generation.
Launching the programme today, HACT CEO Andrew van Doorn said: "Many housing providers are currently struggling to fully realise the benefits of data analytics in their businesses – the sector suffers from messy and unstructured data and data systems, which make solving these issues prohibitively expensive. It’s time to stop talking about ‘bad data’ and develop a sector-wide solution to these challenges – a co-designed open source shared Data Standard for UK housing."
Gareth Davies from Linc-Cymru Housing, who was part of the Cora|UK team and continues to participate in the project as it transitions to HACT leadership, said: "A new Data Standard for the sector has the potential to change how the sector works with data systems, enabling more efficient development and opening the market to innovation. Its introduction is a long overdue step forward for housing providers."
The project launches in January 2017, with the aim to publish v1 of the standard later in the year. The Dutch CORA standard is now on its third iteration, with large scale adoption across both housing providers and the technology sector.
Organisations backing the project are housing technology thought leaders Halton Housing Trust, sector giants Catalyst and Orbit, specialist landlord Hanover, alongside organisations representing a wide variety of stock sizes, geographies and profiles, including Bromford, Viridian, Linc-Cymru, South Yorkshire and others. These organisations will be involved in the development and design of the Standard throughout the process.
Enquiries on the project to Jay Saggar (firstname.lastname@example.org).