Liverpool University research project will underpin Cobalt Housing growth strategy

EXPERTS from the University of Liverpool are undertaking research to support the development of a local housing association’s new development strategy.

Cobalt Housing, which owns and manages around 6,000 homes in north Liverpool, has tasked the university’s team to explore population, housing and social trends, and in so doing provide the evidence base it needs for its new growth strategy.

The organisation says that the development of this new strategy represents a “great opportunity” to put together a longer-term vision for how its existing stock, and any new developments in the coming years, might support the wider social and economic development of the neighbourhoods of north Liverpool.

The study aims to examine how the areas in which Cobalt operates have changed over recent decades and how they may change in the future.

“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,” said Alan Rogers, Cobalt’s chief executive. “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 project is led by Professor Alex Lord, from the university’s Department of Geography & Planning. He and his team will explore a range of topics, including macro trends in housing, placing particular emphasis on the ageing population and the relationship between housing and social mobility.

The work will seek to provide evidence on Cobalt’s neighbourhoods through analysis of the local housing market, demographic trends, deprivation, health statistics and the retail environment.  This evidence base will be compiled directly to inform Cobalt’s longer-term growth strategy.

“We are delighted to begin this work with Cobalt,” said Professor Lord. “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.”


Image: Liverpool University’s Grade II* listed Victoria Building. Image courtesy of Thomas Powell. Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

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