Partnership between Cobalt Housing and the University of Liverpool

Exploring population, housing and social trends with Cobalt Housing

Researchers from the University of Liverpool’s Department of Geography and Planning are bringing their expertise in data analysis and knowledge of housing and communities to a new research project with Cobalt Housing, a housing association based in North Liverpool.

Together, they are undertaking a detailed analysis of the local housing market, demographic trends, deprivation levels, health statistics and the retail environment to provide an overview of how the neighbourhoods in which Cobalt Housing operate have changed over recent decades, and how they may change in the future.

Challenge

Cobalt Housing manages and maintains more than 6,000 homes in Fazakerley, Croxteth and Norris Green. As the majority landlord in these areas, they also actively engage in a wide range of economic, neighbourhood and community regeneration activities.

Alan Rogers, Cobalt Housing’s CEO, describes why they chose to undertake this project with the University of Liverpool, "We wanted to work with a local partner on this because of the benefits it brings to Liverpool, and as the University of Liverpool are leading experts in research that confronts contemporary challenges, disrupts current thinking, discovers real solutions and develops practical applications for outcomes we were delighted to partner with them.”

Solution

The University’s project team, led by Professor Alex Lord from the Department of Geography and Planning, will use primary and secondary data sets, such as census data and data relating to retail outlets and health services, to explore a range of topics, with particular emphasis on the ageing population and the relationship between housing and social mobility.

The project findings will be used to inform Cobalt’s vision for how their existing housing stock, and any new developments in the coming years, might support the wider social and economic development of their neighbourhoods.

Professor Lord said, "The team from the University of Liverpool represents genuine expertise in housing markets, demography, data science and urban planning. This partnership with Cobalt is a great opportunity for us as to apply our expertise to support their Growth Strategy in Croxteth, Norris Green and Fazakerley.”

Impact

Alan Rogers said, “Cobalt are at the start of an exciting new chapter and will soon be launching a new Development Strategy detailing our readiness and desire for growth for our neighbourhoods and organisation. We are passionate to ensure our strategic decisions are properly informed and made in the best interests of our tenants and realised that in-depth expert research would help.

The project will utilise a unique online data resource ‘Access to Healthy Assets and Hazards’ developed by the ESRC-funded Consumer Data Research Centre. This free resource maps out the accessibility to environmental features that influence our health.

The study is expected to be completed by spring 2019 and will help inform Cobalt Housing decisions from 2019 onwards.