June 23, 2016

potential of bog data to reduce maintenance and repairs costs for social landlords

  • Project by Sustainable Homes and Hastoe Housing gets go ahead from government innovation agency
  • Tool could help those building new homes and maintaining existing ones to make better business decisions

The government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK has awarded a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) funding to help develop an analytical tool that will help social landlords harness ‘big data’ for decision making.   The tool will use data from multiple sources, such as build and land costs, housing need and market rates to enable decisions on where and what type of homes to build.  

The KTP project, in partnership with the University of Surrey, will develop predictive, algorithms-based software that can harness the potential of big data. It will also seek out efficiencies in maintenance and repairs programmes and could even predict when faults are likely to happen.

Sue Chalkley, Chief Executive
of Hastoe Housing Group

Sue Chalkley, Chief Executive of Hastoe Housing Group, said:

“With housing associations under pressure like never before to make savings it’s the right time to think creatively about how we can reduce costs whilst being laser-focused on maintaining the quality of the service we provide for residents.

As a sector, we have to look under every rock. We’re delighted to be part of a potential solution that could benefit social landlords and residents around the country.”

Richard Lupo, Senior Sustainability Consultant at Sustainable Homes and lead on the project said:

“We want to help the sector use the power of big data to really get under the skin of where efficiencies can happen in the management of stock. We are working with Innovate UK and Hastoe to fine tune a model that can then be used to help others identify potential savings in their businesses.”

Many efficiencies that are being targeted not only save money but help cut emissions – such as a reduction in van miles that repair teams will have to travel if more visits are planned and fewer ‘reactive’.

Professor Eugene Sadler-Smith from the University of Surrey said “The University of Surrey is absolutely delighted to be working with Sustainable Homes and Hastoe on this project which is at the cutting-edge of management decision-making research and real-world practice.  An exponential increase in the volume of data that companies are now able to access has the potential to revolutionise organisational decision-making processes both at the operational and strategic levels.  Through this project we will work collaboratively with Sustainable Homes to transform information into management insights and then into impactful business decisions.

The long term vision is to develop the tool into other markets – such as affordable housing in Europe as well as private landlords managing significant numbers of homes in the UK.