Housing, Urban Development and Mobility
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Research Institute for Work and Society – HIVA
Parkstraat 47 box 5300
Phone: +32 0 16 32 31 12
Timeliness, transparencyThe first basic results were published in February 2007, i.e. after 1.5 years.
Type of Study
A follow-up survey is being organised (the ‘Grote Woononderzoek). A previous survey conducted in 1995/1996 contains comparable data.
Data gathering method
Face-to-face interview (CAPI, PAPI)
The information gathered by the interviewers in the Housing Survey is linked to information gathered by technical experts of the Flemish administration on objective features of the dwelling and on the broader living environment using a standardised inspection form.
Data from the Housing Survey are available free of charge. Contact Kristof Heylen (see contact information).
Conditions of access
Data access is granted by the Research Department of the Flemish Agency on Living [Agentschap Wonen Vlaanderen, cel Onderzoek]. No contract or formal requirement is needed.
Two weeks at most
Survey documentation is only available in Dutch and French.
The data were collected in 2005 and 2006. A random sample of households living in the Flemish Region was drawn from the Belgian National Register. In total, 5,212 households were interviewed.
A substantial proportion of the head of households were over 50 years old: 2,691 were between 50 and 59; 1,726 between 60 and 69; 964 between 70 and 79; and finally, 287 head of households were older than 80.
Stratification by districts [arrondissementen]
Flanders, breakdown by provinces and districts
No age limitations apply
The Housing Survey is the most important dataset in Belgium to study housing and urban development. Various aspects related to housing are surveyed:
- characteristics of dwellings and living environment
- housing expenditure
- financing of housing
- maintenance of dwelling
- housing history
- housing satisfaction
No specific publications exist concerning the elderly. The following publicaties are more general.
• Haffner, M., & Heylen, K. “User Costs and Housing Expenses. Towards a more Comprehensive Approach to Affordability”. Housing Studies 26(4) (2011): 593-614.
• Heylen, K. “Distributional impact of housing subsidies in Flanders”. International Journal of Housing Policy (2013, forthcoming).
• Heylen, K., & Haffner, M. “The Effect of Housing Expenses and Subsidies on the Income Distribution in Flanders and the Netherlands”. Housing Studies 27(8) (2013): 1142-1161.
A thorough evaluation of data quality was performed. Unfortunately, most information on this evaluation is only available in Dutch. See especially:
• Heylen K., Le Roy M., Vanden Broucke S., Vandekerckhove B., & Winters S. “Wonen in Vlaanderen; De resultaten van de Woonsurvey 2005 en de Uitwendige Woningschouwing 2005.” Departement Ruimtelijke Ordening, Woonbeleid en Onroerend Erfgoed, Woonbeleid, Brussel (2007).
Some methodological information is also provided in the following English publication:
• Heerwegh, D., Abts, K., & Loosveldt, G. “Minimizing survey refusal and noncontact rates: do our efforts pay off?” Survey Research Methods 1(1) (2007): 3-10.
The International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO-88) was used.
As the sample was drawn from the National Register, the (confidential) data contain the National Register number for each respondent. This could allow for a link to other national databases containing the National Register Number. However, such a link so far has not been made and it is unclear to what extent such linkage would be accepted by the Belgian Privacy Commission.
An important strength of the data is that information of the Housing Survey is linked to objective features of the dwelling and broader living environment gathered by technical experts.
The survey is limited to households living in the Flemish Region. No similar surveys exist for the Brussels and Walloon Regions.
Even though methodology, information, strengths and weaknesses are thoroughly documented, this information is, unfortunately, only available in Dutch, making collaboration with a Dutch speaking researcher essential.
- The information about this dataset was compiled by the author:
- Hans Peeters
- (see Partners)