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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 6276

Housing survey

Request

May I please have the following information related to the housing survey going to 5000 homes;

1) What is the cost of this?

2) When was the last survey conducted and are the results available on the web?

3) Who determined the questions posed?

4) Given that some of the information asked relates to savings and housing equity what safeguards are there in place to protect those completing the survey?

5) What is the target response?

6) How were the outsourced firm handling the responses chosen.Was there a competitive tender?

7) What guidance was received from DCLG regarding this survey?

8) Will the results in anyway be used for council tax or bedroom tax purposes?

Response

1) What is the cost of this?
Brentwood Borough Council has agreed to pay the Consultants, David Couttie Associates (DCA), the fixed sum of Fifteen Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Five Pounds (£15,785) to undertake a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) and related Housing Survey.

2) When was the last survey conducted and are the results available on the web?
The last Housing Survey undertaken on behalf of Brentwood Borough Council in relation to the SHMA (January 2010) was carried out in 2009 by Opinion Research Services (ORS) working in partnership with Savills. They were commissioned by Brentwood Borough Council, Broxbourne Borough Council, East Herts District Council, Epping Forest District Council, Harlow District Council and Uttlesford District Council. This survey targeted households in new housing developments within the London Commuter Belt (East)/M11 sub-region).
The results of the survey together with a summary of findings can be found in the SHMA (January 2010) Appendix C (page 204 - 220) and are available to view on our website at: http://www.brentwood.gov.uk/pdf/13102010102900u.pdf

3) Who determined the questions posed?
The questionnaire was designed by the Consultants in consultation with Brentwood Borough Council and is based on a standard questionnaire that will be distributed across Essex and has already been used across the Country on comparable housing surveys over the past twenty years.

4) Given that some of the information asked relates to savings and housing equity what safeguards are there in place to protect those completing the survey
All data from the questionnaire only goes back to the Council in a generalised statistical format, i.e. 55% of residents stated a response to a particular questionnaire. The council will not receive individual household data. The consultants are registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioners Office and always adhere to the Data Protection Act. This is also stated on the front of each questionnaire.

5) What is the target response?
Brentwood Borough was divided into three sub-areas North, South and Urban, the target response for the survey was a minimum of 200 responses per sub-area and that target has been reached.

6) How were the outsourced firm handling the responses chosen. Was there a competitive tender?
Brentwood Borough Council is working in partnership with Councils in Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester and Maldon to undertake the SHMA and related Housing Survey. A competitive tender took place in February 2013, 3 tenders were received from which DCA were awarded the contract on 1 May 2013.
The tender sought an experienced consultant with sound knowledge of Strategic Housing Market Assessments and related Housing Needs Surveys to undertake these services for each partner authority. The outputs had to be those required under the CLG Good Practice SHMA guidance and comply with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which states that local planning authorities should have a clear understanding of housing needs in their area.

7) What guidance was received from DCLG regarding this survey
The Consultants have been carrying out household surveys of this type for the past twenty years and have always worked in accordance with the most up to date CLG Guidance including ‘Strategic Housing Market Assessments Practice Guidance Version 2 (August 2007)’ which are being closely followed for this SHMA. The Consultants also contributed to the development of the SHMA Practice Guidance.

8) Will the results in anyway be used for council tax or bedroom tax purposes?
No, the Council will not receive individual household data. The responses are anonymous and the information provided on the survey is treated as strictly confidential, is not used to identify any person or household and is only presented to the Council in statistical form.