Linking people and places - case study from Sefton Council for GeoPlace Exemplar Awards 2018
Within the Sefton area, access to suitable, good quality and affordable housing is a key priority for residents. Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) are providing clarity on areas for improvement.
Private rented sector housing in the Sefton area had grown considerably over recent years, with a number of landlords offering poorly managed homes.
As well as poor housing conditions, some areas had a high incidence of anti-social behaviour, crime and deprivation. These trends have long been linked to a decline in housing standards.
Sefton Council and its community wanted to see these areas improved – protecting the health, safety and welfare of residents, bringing about long-term sustainable change.
UPRN-linked records are helping Sefton Council to identify properties needing landlords’ attention, generate revenue streams promptly, and improve the quality of living for residents.
The initial challenge was to confidently identify whereabouts the problems were most significant.
Using the UPRN from Local Land & Property Gazetteer (LLPG) data, the team was able to cross-reference geospatial data to Council Tax records and information in the benefits system. Further analysis was possible using UPRN-linked trend data from the Office of National Statistics.
The UPRN-linked outputs were mapped to show resident population and projections, age structure, age profiles, household structure, tenure profile, household overcrowding, Council tax bands, vacant home data, stock conditions and indices of multiple deprivation, economic profiles, unemployment rates and household incomes.
This built a detailed picture that let the council redefine boundaries where additional private rented sector home licensing should be used. Using geospatial information software, the team instils confidence among colleagues by underpinning that licensing process with Sefton’s Gold Standard LLPG.
When a landlord registers a property, the software automatically references UPRNs to categorise it and let the landlord know what type of licence is needed.
Added value is delivered for landlords registering via Sefton’s system, as the software accesses all 42 million address within AddressBase™ Premium. This means that it can service the needs of landlords who want to register out of area addresses.
Spatially-referenced data delivers accurate and instant mapping, linking people-centric data with location-themed information. In Sefton, decisions based on property licence type are now fully automated, using the UPRN drawn from the LLPG.
• reducing the amount of disparate data entered saves time and reduces the risk of errors.
• teams are sure that one property is referenced uniformly by all council departments.
• UPRN data helps teams to identify new properties needing attention at the earliest opportunity, which means faster delivery of services and/or receipt of revenue streams – both with positive implications.
The teams also have scope to feedback with accuracy into the LLPG, resulting in more robust and accurate address data for the whole council and its external partners. This is of particular use for sub-divided properties – one of the more challenging yet ‘invisible’ property types to maintain – it is an excellent source of address intelligence.
Overall, Sefton’s work with UPRNs will reduce the ‘back office’ effort required to manage licensing processes, improve customer satisfaction, generate income for the council, and help it to protect the health, safety and welfare of Sefton residents.