The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has carried out a survey of UK homes every 2-3 years to assess their condition and whether the occupants' quality of life is improving. The EHCS represents an in-depth analysis of individual dwellings and homes involving four components: an interview survey, a physical survey, a market value survey, and private landlord survey:
- In the interview process, individual homeowners/renters are asked about their satisfaction with the home and area, disabilities and their adaptation to the residence, whether any work has been performed to the home, and their income details. Additional questions are asked based on dwelling/ownership type, such as determining which renters have responsibility for housing repairs.
- In the physical survey, a visual inspection of the premises is performed, both interior and exterior. Indoors, data is gathered on the number and types of rooms, details on appliances and the heating systems, etc. On the exterior, the condition of the physical structure, the provision of parking, neighborhood quality, etc. are assessed. See below for more examples.
- In the market value survey, officials produce an internal estimate of the value of each property, with and without potential improvements (of which opportunities for improvement are discovered throughout the physical survey process).
- The private landlord survey is conducted only when property renters agree to allow officials to contact their landlord directly and ask a range of questions on their experiences, attitudes, and operations.
As it is too complex to perform such a series of surveys on every home in the UK, a random sample of homes throughout the country are used to reflect the entire housing stock. The data provided by the housing conditions surveys ranges from occupancy types (ages, income, etc.), to dwelling types (size, age, etc.), and further to analyzing the usage of energy and energy efficiency measures. The data tables that are available online lack information on the GIS distribution of the housing stock. To enquire about whether GIS data exists, the EHCS website refers non-government users to contact BRE, which runs a customized data analysis service for the EHCS. The information above obviously relates primarily to the English housing surveys. However, it's expected that the Scottish surveys are conducted similarly
Type(s) of Data: Listed below are some of the key metrics provided by the EHCS
- Overview of housing conditions: Number and percentage of homes by type and by urban/suburban/rural location, tenure by dwelling age, amenities in the home by the private and social sector
- Energy performance of the housing stock: Change in energy efficiency (SAP) ratings by tenure (1996-2007), Average energy efficiency rating and CO2 emissions by tenure, dwellings with cavity wallys and cavity wall insulation (1996-2007), loft insulation depths, boiler types, extent of double glazing, EPC-recommended energy efficiency measures (2007, by tenure, dwelling type, and/or construction date), potential improvements in average CO2 emissions after recommended cost effective improvements
- Disrepair: Percentage of homes with faults to different building components, percentage of homes with common exterior faults and/or interior faults, distribution of comprehensive repair costs (by dwelling age, tenure, region, and area), age distribution of windows, kitchens, and bathrooms
- Accessible and adaptable homes: Percentage of homes that have specific features to make them more accessible, types and locations of dwellings that are most or least likely to have accessible features
Data Coverage: A random dataset of buildings across the UK. For instance, in the 2007 EHCS, surveys of 16,217 dwellings and 15,604 households were conducted throughout the country.
Data Availability: Freely available. GIS-based data may be possible but not available online.