2021 was another strange year for many of us, but the RED Foundation has continued to make good progress. A short summary of this progress:
We made good progress in 2021 with raising data ethics up the sector's agenda. The RED Foundation Data ethics steering group has engaged with a range of organisations about data ethics in the built environment, for example with the ICO. Members of the steering group also spoke widely on the topic at events, on webinars and in the media.
We have had more leading companies from across the sector sign up to show their support for working towards the Data Ethics Principles.
The Ethical use of data is now on the sectors agenda and companies are starting to change their processes to reflect this.
In January 2021, along with the IRPM and TLIC, the RED Foundation wrote an open letter to the Minister of Housing calling on steps to be taken by both Government and the private sector to increase the use of the UPRN across residential property.
This was an unprecedented group of organisations and it is fantastic that the role of data should be the topic that brought them together.
There has been a significant increase in awareness about the use of the UPRN over the last 12 months - demonstrated by Chris Pincher, (until recently) Minister for Housing, stating that the UPRN should “be baked into” the housing system.
There is a long way to go before the sector widely adopts the UPRN and realises the full extent of the benefits that its use can deliver, but 2021 saw significant steps forward in this area.
Standards and Academia
Following the progress made by the Data Ethics steering group, chaired by Peter Bolton King, we are in the process of establishing two further specialist steering groups; one focused on data standards and the other on data research and academia. These are being chaired by Chris Lees and Dr Tom Wainwright respectively.
Governance and Industry support
We have continued to gain support from across the sector and now have more representative bodies signed up as supporters. Most recent industry supporters include the UK PropTech Association (UKPA), the Association of Real Estate Funds (AREF) and the Conveyancing Information Executive (CIE).
As we gain momentum, we are also exploring ways to provide more robust governance and in January held our first overall steering group, chaired by Damian Wild. This group will be responsible for the overall direction of the RED Foundation and more details on this will be shared in the coming weeks and months.
How you can help and get involved
The RED Foundation is volunteer led with two aims; raising data ethics up the agenda and connecting people / initiatives around the topic of data. You can get involved in three easy ways:
Get your organisation to sign up as supporters to the Data Ethics principles and build them into your thinking.
Join and get involved with the Real Estate Data community and share what you are up to around the topic of data.
Lead a collaborative project under the RED Foundation banner. This needs to work within some high level principles that may be found here.