University partners with Cobalt Housing to explore population, housing and social trends

Researchers from the University’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.

They will undertake 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 Cobalt Housing operate in have changed over recent decades, and how they  may change in the future.

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.

The University project team, led by Professor Alex Lord, 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, including macro trends in housing, 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 from the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Liverpool said, “We are delighted to begin this work with Cobalt.  The University of Liverpool has a long standing commitment to working with local stakeholders to support the development of our home city.

“The team from the University of Liverpool represents genuine expertise in housing markets, demography, data science and urban planning.  This partnership with Cobalt is, therefore, a great opportunity for us as a group of academics to apply our expertise to support Cobalt’s Growth Strategy in Croxteth, Norris Green and Fazakerley.”

Alan Rogers, Cobalt Housing’s CEO 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.

“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.”

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

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.

This project was supported by the University’s Consultancy Team to find out more, please visit:




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