The last decade has witnessed profound changes in the nature and function of local government in the British Isles. This has had major implications for the provision, management and control of housing. Decision-making will require up-to-date information and the use of modern methods of analysis and display. This paper draws on a review of the published literature to demonstrate the potential for Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to aid this process especially in relation to the functions of local housing authorities. It is argued that GIS presents a technology whereby a great deal of data held by departments, much of which is spatially referenced, can be integrated in a corporate database to address housing management, maintenance and development issues. One area where GIS is perceived to have major benefits is in assisting housing needs assessment in local areas which, it is suggested, can have major benefits for local authorities in carrying out their ' x2018;enabling’ functions.