HACT and OCSI launch free Population Insight tool for housing sector

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The new data tool gives housing providers free access to Census 2011 data on changing demographics in their neighbourhoods.

Launched today by HACT and OCSI, and funded by MetropolitanPopulation Insight is a free online mapping tool that enables housing providers to access detailed information on changes in neighbourhood demographics using Census 2011 data released by ONS on 31 January.

Population Insight enables housing providers to generate instant community profiles on each of the neighbourhoods they manage, and map change across the areas they work in.  It also enables them to compare neighbourhoods with each other, or with a wider area.

Based on HACT and OCSI’s successful Community Insight mapping platform, it will provide housing providers with

  • free heat mapping of key demographic indicators;
  • full demographic profiling of their communities – including age, gender, country of origin, ethnicity, religion, migration status and primary language.

Housing providers using Population Insight and Community Insight will be amongst the first able to access the detailed neighbourhood level data from Census 2011 released at the end of January.

Housing providers already subscribing to Community Insight will gain access to a wider range of important new Census data at neighbourhood level, including household composition, employment profiles and household need. Both Population Insight and Community Insight will provide the information housing providers need to positively engage with localised population change, and the challenges this brings in relation to service design and provision, funding, changing needs, and neighbourhood integration and cohesion.

“The publication in late autumn 2012 of initial district level data from Census 2011 highlighted the extent to which populations have grown, turned over and changed in many of our communities over the last ten years.  These changes can be even more pronounced at a neighbourhood level, and impact on service provision, community relations and housing need” says Matt Leach, HACT’s CEO.

“You can really use the Census to drill down and get local data for each neighbourhood. Interestingly, we note that the main changes in the demographic profile of neighbourhoods occurred as a result of immigration.” says John Perry, CIH housing policy advisor who worked with HACT to develop the tool.

“There is a wealth of open data on demographics and population available, however it is overwhelming and difficult to interpret all these statistics, particularly at a neighbourhood level. Population Insight offers an easily understandable format of the statistics, which becomes an incredible valuable resource for housing providers.” concludes Matt Leach.

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