Cross-government homelessness and rough sleeping work programmes

2018 to 2019 work programme

For 2018 to 2019, cross-government initiatives on improving homelessness and rough sleeping statistics were included under the 2018 to 2019 housing and planning statistics work programme.

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2019 to 2020 work programme

The work programme for 2019 to 2020 was last updated on 25 February 2020.

Publish interactive housing and planning statistics tool

Initiative
Enhance the housing and planning statistics guide by making it more interactive, taking on board user feedback in development.
Target date
Autumn 2019
Lead
Tony Wilkins, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Work ongoing. On 25 February we published an interactive framework for housing and planning statistics. The tool combines the topics from the experimental statistical framework with the information contained in the spreadsheet statistical guide. We have refined the tool following user feedback and lessons learnt from the publication of a homelessness interactive tool are being incorporated into the housing tool. Please get in contact with us at: gsshelp@statistics.gov.uk, if you have any feedback or would like to take part in user testing of further developments to the tool.

Develop a data repository for housing and planning data

Initiative
Building upon open data initiatives in the four countries, develop a data repository for housing and planning data. This will link data across the four countries of the UK as part of the Connected Open Government Statistics project.
Target date
Throughout 2019
Lead
Nick Woodhill, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Work ongoing. The Connected Open Government Statistics project (formerly the GSS Data Project) is looking to accelerate the rate of uptake of new housing data families. Dwelling by tenure, the pilot dataset, was incorporated in April 2019, and affordable housing and homelessness are the next two data families to be added.

Publish a cross-UK article on homelessness

Initiative
Publish a cross UK article on homelessness. Article will bring together existing data sources to present comparability, coherence, and assess any data limitations.
Target date
Autumn 2019
Lead
Tony Wilkins, Office for National Statistics
Progress
A cross-UK homelessness statistics article was published on 17 September alongside an article about improvements to statistics across the GSS and an interactive tool.

Publish an interactive UK housing and planning statistics framework

Initiative
The experimental statistical framework for housing and planning statistics illustrates how we are measuring the housing and planning landscape across the UK. Make the current experimental statistical framework interactive, taking on board user feedback in development. Continue to refine the content of the experimental statistical framework and use it to assist in identification of priority topics for further improvement and coherence.
Target date
Throughout 2019
Lead
Tony Wilkins, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Initial work complete with further work ongoing. On 25 February we published an interactive framework for housing and planning statistics. The tool combines the topics from the experimental statistical framework with the information contained in the spreadsheet statistical guide.
We have incorporated feedback from user events into the statistical framework. We have refined the tool following user feedback and lessons learnt from the publication of the homelessness interactive tool have been incorporated into the housing tool. But we will continue to refine and update the tool.

Develop the Centre for Homelessness Impact (CHI) SHARE indicator framework platform

Initiative
Develop the Centre for Homelessness Impact (CHI) SHARE indicator framework platform.
Target date
January 2020
Lead
Ligia Teixeira, Centre for Homelessness Impact; Andrea Lacey, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Initial work complete with further work ongoing. The Centre for Homelessness Impact have held various user engagement events across the UK and a consultation to help inform the development of their SHARE framework. A response to the consultation was published on 2 October. The interactive SHARE platform and report were published on 13 February 2020. This will continue to be updated throughout 2020.

Produce guidance on comparability of homelessness statistics

Initiative
Collaborate with MHCLG and the devolved administrations to produce a conceptual homelessness framework and improved guidance on the comparability of homelessness statistics to be embedded in future statistical publications.
Target date
Autumn 2019
Lead
Sean Mattson, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Complete. The beta version of a homelessness interactive tool was published on 17 September 2019. The tool provides comparison guidance, outlines the process a person may go through when seeking support for housing in each UK country, and shows how each country’s statistics are collected. The tool was updated on 25 February. Please get in contact us at: gsshelp@statistics.gov.uk if you have any feedback or would like to take part in user testing of further developments to the tool. Draft improved guidance on the comparability of homelessness statistics to be included in future statistical publications is being written and will be shared with statistics producers in early 2020.

Identify the key analytical questions around homelessness and rough sleeping in the UK

Initiative
Identify the key analytical questions around homelessness and rough sleeping in the UK, and where that requires coordinated working across the four nations. Consider how data can be collated to answer those questions including to improve UK comparability.
Target date
Ongoing
Lead
Debra Prestwood, Office for National Statistics; All data producers
Progress
Work ongoing. Key questions from users continue to be identified through user engagement and horizon scanning. Consideration is being given to how the barriers to harmonisation that the GSS Harmonisation Report identified could be overcome, including an assessment of the costs and resources associated with providing users with information on the size of the differences, or guidance on how to make adjustments to obtain comparable estimates. Following publication of the cross-UK homelessness article and a homelessness interactive tool, age group categories and reasons for homelessness are being investigated to better understand the barriers to coherence. In 2020 to 2021 optimal use of data and data linkage opportunities will continue to be explored.

Improve the measurement of homelessness and rough sleepers

Initiative
Improve the measurement and understanding of homelessness and rough sleepers, taking into account the country-specific requirements relating to legislation and policy.
Target date
Ongoing
Lead
Tony Wilkins, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Work ongoing. We are investigating how to improve our understanding of homelessness and rough sleepers, including data-linking projects across the UK. ONS, with input from other departments and devolved administrations, published an article on 17 September summarising the planned improvements to homelessness statistics across the GSS.

Improve evidence base for homelessness in England

Initiative
Use Homelessness Case Level Collection (H-CLIC) data in England to improve the evidence base for homelessness to aid and improve understanding of how households and individuals cycle in and out of homelessness over time and across the country.
Target date
Throughout 2019 to 2020 and onwards
Lead
Lan-Ho Man, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government; Diana Airimitoaie, Administrative Data Research UK (ADRUK)
Progress
Work ongoing. ADRUK, with ONS as a core partner, has a funded research and data infrastructure to create new linked cross-government data sets for research purposes. This project aims to link H-CLIC data from local authorities in England, and is also hoping to link the H-CLIC data to other data sources such as homelessness evaluations run within the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). This project is in early stages, with MHCLG leading the work and ONS as a trusted third party.

Expand coverage and quality of case-level homelessness data in England

Initiative
Expand coverage and quality of case-level homelessness data in England.
Target date
Ongoing
Lead
Danielle Ryan, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Progress
Work ongoing. Following the first release of homelessness estimates for England based on Homelessness Case Level Collection (H-CLIC) data, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government plan to expand coverage and quality of statistics to meet user needs. The first full year of statistics using H-CLIC data was published on 12 September 2019.

Carry out a homelessness and rough sleeping research and evaluation programme in England

Initiative
Carry out an ongoing homelessness and rough sleeping research and evaluation programme in England.
Target date
Ongoing
Lead
Danielle Ryan, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Progress
Work ongoing. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have an ongoing programme of work for evaluation and research around homelessness statistics in England. This includes a project to explore homelessness and rough sleeping among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, and a project producing evidence-based advice on how to prevent homelessness among prison-leavers.

Explore the feasibility of introducing case-level homelessness data in Wales

Initiative
Explore the feasibility of introducing case-level homelessness data in Wales.
Target date
Ongoing
Lead
Sue Leake, Welsh Government
Progress
Work ongoing. The Welsh Government and the Collaborative Centre for Housing evidence (CaCHE) jointly funded a feasibility study into the collection of case-level homelessness data in Wales. A report is due to be published in Spring 2020.

Expand published statistics for homelessness in Northern Ireland

Initiative
Expand published statistics for homelessness in Northern Ireland.
Target date
Ongoing
Lead
James Sampson, Department for Communities Northern Ireland
Progress
Work ongoing. The Department for Communities Northern Ireland continue to work alongside Northern Ireland Housing Executive to continue to develop their standalone biannual homelessness statistics publication. The third edition of this report is due to be released in March 2020. As with the first two editions it will be labelled as experimental statistics; this will also allow the time series within the report to build and will give a greater opportunity to assess the process of data and contextual information collation.

Publish and improve statistics on the deaths of homeless people in England and Wales

Initiative
Continue to publish and improve statistics on the deaths of homeless people in England and Wales.
Target date
Ongoing
Lead
Ben Windsor-Shellard, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Work ongoing. Statistics on the deaths of homeless people in England and Wales were published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the first time in December 2018 as experimental statistics. On 1 October 2019 ONS released data for 2018 to update analysis on deaths of homeless people. ONS has been working with local authorities, academics and the General Register Office to improve the accuracy of these statistics, particularly for smaller geographical areas where there is user demand.

Improve rough sleeping statistics in Scotland

Initiative
Improve rough sleeping statistics and explore the potential for reporting on deaths of people experiencing homelessness in Scotland.
Target date
Ongoing
Lead
Adam Krawczyk, Scottish Government; Julie Ramsey, National Records of Scotland
Progress
Work ongoing. Scottish Government are looking at options to supplement case-level statistics with a new rough sleeping data collection system. The system will improve estimates and facilitate joined up working across organisations helping those sleeping rough (in partnership with Centre for Homelessness Impact). Scottish Government are also exploring research into the public perceptions of homelessness. To meet user demand, on 5 February, National Records of Scotland published new statistics measuring deaths of people experiencing homelessness in Scotland, 2017 and 2018.

Focus on user perspective of homelessness and rough sleeping statistics

Initiative
Focus on the user perspective of these statistics to increase their public value. Continue to consult policy and non-government users on demand for comparable data across the UK. Tailor user engagement activity for each country.
Target date
Ongoing
Lead
Nick Woodhill, Office for National Statistics; Daniel Shaw, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government; Sue Leake, Welsh Government; Adam Krawczyk, Scottish Government; James Sampson, Department for Communities Northern Ireland
Progress
Work ongoing. We will continue to create user engagement events or join up with existing events to help assess demand for comparable data across the UK, or increased transparency on country differences. Events have been held across all four UK countries on a range of topics which have helped shaped our priorities and direction of travel. We published a user engagement statement in Februray 2020. This sets out how we will engage with our users and provide a reference point for statistical producers to help shape their own user engagement work.

Conduct a housing and planning statistics user engagement survey

Initiative
Conduct user engagement survey to better understand the needs of users of these statistics.
Target date
May 2019
Lead
Nick Woodhill, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Complete. A user engagement survey was run during May 2019 to collect views on the work statisticians are doing to improve the quality and value of these statistics. Responses were analysed, and initial results have been circulated and presented at the steering group meeting and with working group members. Results from the survey were shared with statistics producers and on a GSS Blog. We will use this feedback to help prioritise the work we do in the future.

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2020 to 2021 work programme

No work programme was published for 2020 to 2021, as resources were re-directed to enable the Government Statistical Service to support coronavirus-related analytical priorities.

Work on homelessness and rough sleeping statistics still continued over the period, though to slower timetables. A blog on Understanding the impact of the pandemic on housing and planning statistics was published on 17 February 2021.

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This page was last updated on: Thursday 02 September 2021