Housing Needs Surveys
A good example of a Housing Heeds Survey can be found at resources.peakdistrict.gov.uk/pubs/planning/housing/appendix3.pdf
Note the inclusion of;
- a question to include those who used to live in the community but have had to move away,
- specific information about income and savings.
One missing question however is whether the applicant has been offered to work in the community as opposed to having work already.
If you are carrying out your own survey you should work with the local housing authority to agree the methodology and hence be sure they will accept the results. The rate of return needs to be more than 50% if possible, although above 33% may be sufficient. It will be worth mobilizing as many people as possible to cover small groups of houses to fill in the returns to ensure the survey is comprehensive.
Ideally, you need to identify those who work in the community or have the opportunity to work in the community but cannot do so as they have nowhere to live; as well as those who have a community connection but have had to move away. For doing so, you might use an advertisement or press release, or ask those already living in the village whether they know of anyone who fits the desciption (then follow up by sending them a survey form).Where the survey is carried out by a rural housing enabler, it would be useful to go through the survey form and make sure that all the needed information areas are covered.
A useful example is the survey used by the Community Council of Devon, keeping in mind that it was altered to fit local circumstances and the local community profile where appropriate: Salcombe Town Council Housing Needs Survey.
Another complete Housing Needs surveys in Cumbria can be found at www.crht.org.uk under 'Surveys'. For example, the 2008 Allithwaite Upper surevy published on the above website includes detailed information about households needs and affordibility which will be essential when deciding on the needed affordable housing scheme: what sizes of homes are required and what people can afford to pay as rent or mortgage.
Step by Step Guide
For other CLT guides and information, visit our Resources page.