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GSS > Policy and guidance hub > Affordable housing harmonisation guidance

Affordable housing harmonisation guidance

Policy details

Metadata item Details
Publication date:6 November 2019
Author:Eliza Swinn
Approver:Catherine Davies
Who this is for:Users and producers of statistics
Type:Harmonisation guidance and principles

Housing policy is devolved across the UK, and different approaches have been taken by each country to try and meet the housing needs of their population. Each country has developed a range of housing products aimed at households whose needs are not met by the market, some of which are known under the banner of ‘affordable housing’. This includes both rental and ownership schemes.

This report by the Government Statistical Service (GSS) Harmonisation Team explores the different definitions of affordable housing and associated terminology used in the UK. It outlines the different tenures and products that can be classified as affordable housing and identifies the key distinguishing factors. The range of statistics produced on affordable housing supply, stock and demand are outlined, and consideration is given to the feasibility and desirability of harmonising statistical definitions of affordable housing. Based on discussions with stakeholders, the need for cross-UK statistics is also discussed along with a number of data gaps identified by stakeholders.

Read the GSS affordable housing harmonisation report (PDF, 0.39MB) if you want to understand:

  • definitions of affordable housing across the UK
  • key types of affordable housing products across the UK
  • what affordable housing statistics are available in the UK
  • the next steps we will take to improve the clarity of affordable housing statistics

Read the Office for National Statistics article ‘Affordable Housing in the UK’ if you want to understand:

  • the size, supply, sales and characteristics of affordable housing in the UK
  • similarities and differences in affordable housing across the UK
  • data limitations

Review frequency:

This page will be reviewed annually.



Affordable Housing GSS Harmonisation Report (PDF, 0.39MB)


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