Housing data standard FAQs

What are the customer-facing benefits of the standard?

The extent of the benefits will only become apparent once the standard is fully developed, but could include an enhanced customer experience when interacting with the organisation. As an example, data standards and data exchange standards enable systems to pass data more easily, so customers will be able to view the status of their repair as it's happening. Data standards provide customers with a single vieww of the customer, so that all the relevant data is available either when they're self-serving, or when they're interacting with the customer service team, or any other part of the organisation. 

What are the short-term benefits of getting involved now? 

Those organisations taking part in the development of the standard are able to influence which areas are developed first, so that they align with their organisation's specific priorities. Developing organisations will also benefit from learning how standards are created. By engaging with other partner organisations, they will be able to sare best practice in data governance and management. Developing organisations will also have priority access to the standard, and can being planning its implementation earlier than those not involved. 

What was the general feeling from project partners about the benefits of version 1.0 of the standard? 

Here's what two of the participants had to say about their experience:

"The standard helps in maximising the value of the data, whilst reducing the cost of applications.

"Using standards helps us run more efficiently, helps us remain GDPR compliant and speeds up partnership opportunities with suppliers and other housing associations.

"We decided we needed to standardise the way in which we defined our business, so that we could implement a much clearer version of our data, and ultimately produce a single version of the truth." (Thames Valley HA)

"The value they can bring in helping organisations to understand their data structures and share data internally, as well as externally. Being part of the project was an opportunity to understand how these standards are put together, and contribute in helping housing become more data driven." (Catalyst)

Will my legacy software provider support the standard?

We are in discussion with all the legacy providers about supporting the standard, and Aareon have signed up to the standard. We continue to engage with all the major supplier as we see the standard as a major benefit for their businesses. We are also engaged with many smaller suppliers that are keen to begin use the standard and working with housing providers to deliver implementations.

How much involvement/time resource is required?

For organisations that wish to participate in the development process we estimate that a medium component such as income would require around six days of resource time broken down into six half-day meetings to be attended remotely or in person, plus six half-days of out of meeting homework, including information gathering and discussion with key internal stakeholders. The likely development period would be 5-6 months.

Where will the standard be published and publicised? And who will own the rights?

The standards will be published by HACT and OSCRE. They will be licensed for anyone to use free of charge under a creative commons license. OSCRE produces standards for global use. That is not to say everything is globalised, but rather that OSCRE members have global interests, and drive standards development accordingly. This might be global, or it might be local. More information about OSCRE's reach and membership can be found at www.oscre.org.

Why are OSCRE involved? 

OSCRE has created and published standards relating to UK land registration and UK searches. OSCRE collaborates with other standards bodies whenever that is appropriate and makes sense. The OSCRE standards incorporate code lists (classifications and taxonomies) from many other standards, including those published by United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN-CEFACT), Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), EPSG (Oil & Gas Producers geospatial dataset), International Total Occupancy Cost Code (ITOCC), OmniClass, National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and United States Federal Inventory Processing Standards (FIPS). In its current work, OSCRE is working with UK housing sector software vendors, including HouseMark, as well as the project partners to extend these collaborations as needed – for example to incorporate the industry standard Schedule Of Rates into the data standards. 

Which phases of the project will include working on issues that are concerned with useful data for sharing or publishing?

It depends what is really meant by “sharing and publishing” – the very vast majority of the use cases considered during the work done on data standards is related to Data Exchange Standards, which are precisely about sharing or publishing information between systems, departments and organizations. Development of these Data Exchange Standards necessitates and underlying data model, and this data model has other valuable applications unrelated to publishing or sharing (for example Master Data Management, Enterprise Data Modelling, or vendor selection).

How much does it cost to get involved?

For most organisations participation or support will cost £10,000. For larger organisations, it will cost over £20,0000. For small organisations with 5,000 properties or less, £5,000.

The range of investment levels ensures that the standard represents the diversity of organisations that make up the housing sector.

Who is involved? 


Be part of the future of the UK housing data standard

We are currently looking for housing providers to invest in the future development, governance and maintenance of the UK housing data standard. For information see our investment prospectus

Version 1.0 of the Standard was created by HACT and OSCRE alongside 17 housing providers and supported by Aareon and the launch sponsored by Pilon

Acis Group




Halton Housing Trust



One Manchester



South Yorkshire Housing Association

Thames Valley Housing

Together Housing Group


WM Housing

Yorkshire Coast Homes

Yorkshire Housing