Housing analytics lab to provide advice

A new data analytics lab will use spatial data and analysis to provide policymakers with evidence-driven solutions to national housing problems.

The City Futures Research Centre (CFRC) at UNSW Sydney has been awarded a two-year, $1 million grant by the office of the NSW Chief Scientist to lead the development of the Housing Analytics Lab (HAL). The lab will be a hybrid physical/digital facility created to support data-driven housing solutions.

Amongst the digital tools to be housed at HAL will be a database with a map dashboard of all historic and live planning approvals across NSW and Australia, and an AI classifier of planning assessments to understand spatial clusters of current and future housing development activity.

“The Housing Analytics Lab is a continuation of the work the CFRC has done in collaboration with AURIN and others in creating the Australian Housing Data Analytics Platform over the past two years,” said Professor Chris Pettit, director of the CFRC.

“Using real-time housing datasets, multiple scenarios powered by big data and machine learning can be rapidly created and compared, allowing decision makers to assess policy options,” Professor Pettit said.

The HAL will be developed in partnership with Australian Research Data Commons, Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN), Commonwealth Bank Australia, Community Housing Industry Association NSW, FrontierSI, Housing Australia, MIRVAC, PEXA, SGS Economics and Planning, Shelter, and Tenants Union NSW.

“The Housing Analytics Lab comes at an important time for housing policy in Australia, and we’re thrilled to have this chance to develop cutting-edge data and technological capabilities to support researchers and decision-makers,” said Professor Pascal Perez, Director of AURIN.

“It is tremendous to have the support of AURIN in establishing the Housing Analytics Lab. HAL is being established in conjunction with the AURIN NSW node and will provide a launch pad for digital innovation in housing,” added Professor Pettit.

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