Local Housing Market Assessment online resource tool
In 2011 the Welsh Government Housing Information Group considered how to improve local authority access to housing market information and how to assist local authorities with the development and review of their Local Housing Market Assessment (LHMA). This work was taken forward by a LHMA Task and Finish Group consisting of housing and planning officers from Local Government, Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) and Welsh Government.
The work of the LHMA Task and Finish Group resulted in the production of a guide, ‘Getting Started on your LHMA – a step by step guide’ which was published in March 2012. This was developed to supplement but not replace the comprehensive and detailed Welsh Government LHMA guidance which had already been in existence since 2006.
The guide’s primary aims were to:
- provide a starting point for a quantitative calculation of housing need and an assessment of the local housing market;
- introduce more consistency in approaches across Wales as well as acknowledging differences between housing markets and access to data sources;
- enable local authorities to undertake an in-house LHMA; and
- provide a starting point on which to build a more sophisticated understanding of housing markets.
Following the production of the guide, the LHMA Task and Finish Group identified the need for regional training courses to consolidate the methodology employed in the guide. The courses would help assist local authority housing officers to get started on their LHMAs and encourage them to produce them in-house.
The Local Government Data Unit ~ Wales (Data Unit) was commissioned by the WLGA to develop the regional training along with a housing practitioner who had been seconded from Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council to initially write the ‘Step by Step’ guide. The regional training courses took place in North, Mid and South Wales between November 2012 and February 2013.
The training was successful and a number of local authorities were able to adopt the methodology and start producing their LHMAs in-house. However, in order to assist other local authorities to cement their understanding of the methodology and allow them to follow it in their own timescales, a proposal was made to develop a LHMA online training resource. The LHMA online training resource is a record of the steps covered on the training course to outline the methodology. The proposal was supported by the LHMA Task and Finish group, the Welsh Housing Strategy Network and the WG Housing Information Group.