Glossary of terms
- Thu 26 August 2021
- Next update:
- November 2021
Table of contents
This glossary defines acronyms and terms found within the GSS interactive housing and planning statistics tool. It is not intended as a single reference point for all UK housing and planning statistics terminology.
The definitions for some housing terms are based in legislation, while other definitions are set by individual data publishers and are often found in their statistical releases. Unless stated otherwise, users of these statistics should assume that:
- Within an organisation, the usage of a term can vary between statistical families.
- Within a UK country, the usage of a term can vary between organisations.
- Within the UK, the usage of a term can vary country to country.
Currently, only the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government documents housing terminology used in their statistics in a single centralised glossary of housing terms (England only).
You can search the glossary by:
- Clicking on the "Open all" button.
- Opening the search bar by pressing Ctrl and f (PC) or ⌘ and f (Mac).
- Typing the acronym or word you are interested in.
- Bank of England
The Bank of England (BoE) is the central bank of the United Kingdom.
The census is a once-in-a-decade compulsory survey that gives provides the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in the UK. The census asks questions about households and the homes they live in.
Demographics means the characteristics of a population. This can can cover a wide range of aspects such as: age, sex, religion, ethnicity, education level, state of health, or what work people do.
- Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is responsible for business, industrial strategy, science and innovation, energy and climate change policy in the UK.
- Department for Communities
The Department for Communities (DfC) is responsible for housing, social security and welfare, employment services, leisure and sports, and historic and cultural affairs in Northern Ireland.
- Department for Infrastructure
The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) is responsible for regional planning and development, and transportation in Northern Ireland.
- Department for Work and Pensions
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy. As the UK's biggest public service department it administers the State Pension and a range of working age, disability and ill health benefits.
- Financial Conduct Authority
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates the financial services industry in the UK.
- Government Statistical Service
The Government Statistical Service (GSS) is a community for all civil servants working in the collection, production and communication of official statistics.
- Greater London Authority
The Greater London Authority (GLA) is the devolved regional governing body of London, with jurisdiction over the county of Greater London and the City of London.
- HM Land Registry
HM Land Registry (MHLR) is responsible for registering the ownership of land and property in England and Wales.
- HM Revenue and Customs
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are the UK's tax, payments and customs authority.
- HM Treasury
HM Treasury is the UK Government's economic and finance ministry, maintaining control over public spending and setting the direction of the UK's economic policy.
- Homes England
Homes England is the non-departmental public body that funds new affordable housing in England.
Individual Savings Accounts are a scheme that allows individuals to hold cash, shares, and unit trusts free of tax on dividends, interest, and capital gains.
- Land and Property Services
Land & Property Services (LPS) collect, process and manage land and property information for Northern Ireland.
- Local Government Districts
Northern Ireland Local Government Districts. Different boundaries were established in 1992 and 2014.
A Lower-layer Super Output Area (LSOA) is a geographic hierarchy designed to improve the reporting of small area statistics in England and Wales. There are 34,753 LSOAs in England and Wales, each containing between 400 and 1,200 households. More information can be found by visiting the Census geography page.
- Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is the leading Government department on housing and homelessness in England. MHCLG publish housing and planning statistics for England, and in some cases, for Wales.
A Medium-layer Super Output Area (MSOA) is a geographic hierarchy designed to improve the reporting of small area statistics in England and Wales. There are 7,201 LSOAs in England and Wales, each containing between 2,000 and 6,000 households. More information can be found by visiting the Census geography page.
- National Records of Scotland
The National Records of Scotland (NRS) store records of births, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships, divorces, stillbirths. NRS are also responsible for the Scottish national archives, which contain government documents and public records.
- Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service
Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service (NICTS) are responsible for providing administrative support to courts, tribunals and Parole Commissioners to enforce civil court judgments through the Enforcement of Judgments Office. NICTS manage money held in court for patients and children and young people aged under 18.
- Northern Ireland Housing Executive
Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) is the strategic housing authority for Northern Ireland. NIHE provide housing assistance and collect information on homelessness and applications for housing support.
- Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) is an agency of the Department of Finance. NISRA is the principal source of official statistics and social research on Northern Ireland.
- Office for National Statistics
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the UK's largest independent producer of official statistics and the recognised national statistical institute of the UK.
- Office for Statistics Regulation
The Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) is the regulatory arm of the UK Statistics Authority. They provide independent regulation of all official statistics produced in the UK.
- Owner occupied
Owner occupied households are those properties in which the inhabitants of the property either own outright, or are buying with a mortgage or as part of a shared ownership scheme.
- Registered Social Landlords
These are not-for-profit independent societies, bodies of trustees or companies established for the purpose of providing low-cost social housing for people in housing need. Also known as Private Registered Providers, or housing associations.
- Registers of Scotland
Registers of Scotland (RoS) keeps public registers of land, property, and other legal documents in Scotland.
- Regulator of Social Housing
The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) regulates registered providers of social housing.
- Scottish Government
The Scottish Government is the devolved government of Scotland.
- Temporary accommodation
Temporary accommodation can be utilised to address both an interim duty to accommodate and the full housing duty. That is, an applicant could be placed here during their investigation, as part of relief of homelessness, or whilst waiting for a permanent offer of rehousing.
The tenure defines the conditions under which the home is occupied, whether it is owned or rented, and if rented, who the landlord is and on what financial and legal terms the let is agreed.
The length of time between the reference period for the data and its publication.
- Valuation Office Agency
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) gives the government the valuations and property advice needed to support taxation and benefits.
- Welsh Government
The Welsh Government is the devolved government of Wales.