The use of geographic information (GI) in the management of houses under multiple occupation has allowed Dundee City Council to deliver better services, reduce costs and save time. In fact, the Council has identified the use of GI as one of the top five ways to realise savings and improve efficiency.
Prior to the ‘Houses under Multiple Occupation Project’, Dundee City Council’s Licensing Committee considered occupation applications on the basis of their suitability and current availability.
As a vibrant and prosperous city where people wish to live and work, Dundee’s large student population led to fears of an over-concentration of student flats in certain areas.
This, combined with the fact that concentrations were manually calculated using street names, led to an acute problem. This resulted in a real lack of clarity that was wholly unsatisfactory for all stakeholders, including housing officers, Committee members, applicants, prospective applicants and local residents.
Using mapping technology with a range of data from Ordnance Survey, the Council was able to identify and locate houses occupied by three or more unrelated people. The project, which began in September 2008, now provides an accurate and real-time picture of houses under multiple occupancy across the city. As a result, the Council is now more able to ensure an equitable distribution of such properties across the city and improve the relationship with a range of stakeholders, while at the same time saving time, resources and money.
- £60 000 savings delivered since the start of the project.
- £1 000s saved on the management and processing of inappropriate applications (additionally saving on applicant’s fees).
- Project leaders have ensured that the solution is now an integral part of the business process.
- Dundee estimate savings of 1 500 man hours per year.
- Similar use of mapping now seen in Dundee’s Pest control and Community Safety services.
- The use of GI has been identified by a Council review as one of the top five ways to realise savings and improve efficiency.