A Housing Needs Survey is an independent report, collecting information on the present housing profile and requirements of a locality. Surveys provide an assessment of a community’s current and future housing needs, and will need to be reviewed about every five years.
Surveys are delivered to every house in a parish and can be completed online or via hardcopy. Core questions focus on the resident’s current housing circumstances and their views on any new housing where they live–particularly with regard to affordable housing. Surveys can also ask questions related to prior development to form a full picture of current, future and past needs.
From raw survey data, DCHH produces an independent report based on the information residents provide. A survey identifies the number and type of affordable homes required by the parish or town after careful comparisons and objective analysis. Household circumstances (and any related concerns, eg. average age of population) are drafted together to give an overall view: a housing data profile of tenures and demographics.
This community profile helps a Parish Council, Community Group, Local Authority or other organisation plan for future development. Neighbourhood Planning Committees use surveys as a means to evidence need for future builds in a specific area. The number, size and tenure of new homes are determined with ongoing community polling and participation in this way.
Planners also rely on these reports when processing development applications (they can support applications). Parish and Town Councils consult and use any current Housing Needs Survey when writing their Neighbourhood Plans to evidence for community rates of growth. This approach ultimately boosts community-led goals when merged with Joint District Plans.
- Identify the locality you wish to survey. Usually a parish and its villages–especially if residents are experiencing consistently unaffordable housing. Towns can commission a Housing Needs Survey (HNS) also.
- Check if a recent HNS already exists for your area and how old it is. Your Parish or Town Council Clerk will know when the last one was done. A locality will need a new survey after 5 years from the date of its last effort.
- Contact Corinne Waterfield on 01392 248919 or Corinne.Waterfield@devoncommunities.org.uk to discuss how we can help your community with its affordable housing needs.