Rental Housing Index interface

for BC Non-Profit Housing Association
with Vancity
status live
as of November 2014

A richly interactive, data-intensive spatial explorer for BCNPHA’s multi-dimensional rental housing demographic dataset.

Everyone knows renting in parts of BC can be expensive, but the BC Non-Profit Housing Association was concerned that the issue wasn’t being taken seriously because of the lack of hard data. They worked with Statistics Canada to undertake a really enormous data extraction and analysis project, and they wanted to make sure that the final data would actually be accessible to non-specialists. Geocology Research worked with the BCNPHA to develop a map-based interface for the data to provide a provincial overview as well as regional deep-dives into key metrics.

The dataset is immense, over 270 discrete variables distributed over 101 geographies. To make that data accessible to the public and researchers alike we needed an interface that would reward casual skimming with summary information but would also allow users quickly drill through the full underlying dataset in multiple dimensions. A map, summary table and a more detailed fly-out table are all tied together so that changing the view through the data in one place changes it in the other two. We also had to accommodate issues with missing data, and overlapping geographies.

The final product is live at (and also at because that’s easier for reporters to say on-air.)

The BCNPHA rolled out the interface at their Annual General Meeting and used it alongside static reports to generate a whole lot of media coverage:

CTV: Affordability crunch: Study says B.C. renters spending too much on housing
Kelowna Now: The Troubling Cost of Rent Across BC
Vancouver Sun: Study puts grim numbers on B.C. rental crisis
Vancouver Observer: Rental Housing Index shows crisis level of spending in BC
24 Hours: B.C. renters face ‘crisis’ levels of spending
Energetic City: New statistics underscore challenges of renters in Fort St. John