Local Housing Needs Database

Ed | Nov. 23, 2020, 10:49 p.m.

Through its official guidance, the government sets out a 'standard method' to calculate the housing target for any local authority area.

Screenshot of Local Housing Needs database

Screenshot of Local Housing Needs database

The calculation starts with two spreadsheets - one containing household growth projections, and another which tracks changes in the affordability of house prices, supplied by the Office for National Statistics.

Data from the two spreadsheets is fed into a formula, which outputs an annual housing target.

I often need to perform this calculation for different council areas. I realised that if I created a database showing the housing targets for every local authority in the country, this would be useful to myself - and could be used by visitors to my website too.

I was starting to find my flow with django, and realised that I could easily import the two spreadsheets into django models by writing a short Python script. I then used Python to perform calculations on the data, using the government's formula.

I kept the front-end pages very simple - a table listing all local authority areas, with some headline figures. Clicking on the name of a local authority leads to a page which provides further detail, including targets from previous years.

This was a very simple and quick project - but has turned out to be very effective and useful. I often find myself referring to the Local Housing Needs database when I need to check facts and figures from a reliable source. It is satisfying to be able to use my web development skills to create apps which support my work in my town planning profession.

Click the button to launch the Local Housing Needs database.

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