From theory to practice: part 1

By Rob Wray, Chief Innovation Officer - on 19/10/2020

Over the last three years, HACT has continuously stressed the importance of data standards in social housing – if you’ve seen me speak at conferences, whether IRL or online during this time, you will no doubt have heard me talk about them.

Now, as we prepare to launch the fourth iteration of the UK Housing Data Standards next month, more and more people and organisations are embracing data standards. In the last two weeks alone, we’ve announced organisations as varied as Peabody, Magenta and Derventio signing up to the data standards movement.

Another notable endorsement of the UK Housing Data Standards came in a letter Dame Judith Hackitt sent to HACT following our presentation to the Industry Safety Steering Group. 

“We see real value and importance in the UK Housing Data Standards (UKHDS) you are developing,” she wrote. “They will enable organisations to keep information about the way homes are constructed and how they meet the compliance regime in an accessible way that can be shared with residents and contractors alike.” 

The next iteration of the UK Housing Data Standards includes development handovers, developed in partnership with numerous organisations including L&Q, Camden Council, Thirteen Group and Yorkshire Housing. The timing of this launch sits well with the ISSG.

“In my interim report,” Dame Judith Hackittt continued, “I stated that there needs to be a golden thread for complex buildings so that the original design intent, and any subsequent changes or refurbishment, are recorded and properly reviewed. We therefore welcomed the fact that the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust (HACT) has been proactively leading the way on developing the golden thread.”

Following on from the development handover data standard, a number of external agencies, including BIM specialists, and housing associations were keen to progress work on some of the areas around some of its data provisions. Together, we’ve formed the Housing Asset Data Group, which aims to create 250 uniclass assets most used by housing associations in their development handover process.  

As Dame Judith Hackitt noted in her letter to HACT, “In Building a Safer Future I highlighted the importance of maintaining a spirit of collaboration and partnership. This is important in delivering consistent solutions and changing the culture of the housing sector.”

“The progress report also sets out the key overarching principles that we believe demonstrate good leadership in the sector: implementing changes to improve building safety prior to legislation; driving forward change and building and maintaining momentum; working collaboratively, bringing people together and speaking in a unified voice and demonstrating innovation and finding solutions. We were pleased to see that HACT is demonstrating all of the above and welcome your proactive leadership and commitment to delivering the culture change that we urgently need to see.”

As we move into developing the next iteration of the UK Housing Data Standards – focussing on resident feedback and complaints (see part 2) – we will continue to promote this spirit of collaboration and encourage social housing organisations across the UK to join us. 

Together, we can create data standards that work for the sector.

For further information about the data standards, please contact Billy Holt.

Sign up to our event, Implementation, capability and design: the UK Housing Data Standards.

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