Cross-government housing and planning statistics work programmes

2018 to 2019 work programme

The work programme for 2018 to 2019 was finalised on 4 April 2019.

Bring together housing and planning statistics into a single location

Initiative
Develop a summary guide for users showing availability of data by producing body.
Target date
July 2018
Lead
Debra Prestwood and Chris Jenkins, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Complete. An experimental overview guide linking to existing datasets for the policy departments and ONS was published on 10 August 2018. Next steps are to make the guide more interactive and progress can be tracked in the 2019 to 2020 work programme.

Explore transformation of data into open data formats

Initiative
Building upon open data initiatives in the four countries, consider how to improve user accessibility to data given the multi-producing bodies, including collaboration with external partners and in-house strategic solutions.
Target date
Throughout 2019
Lead
Debra Prestwood, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Work ongoing. It was agreed in September 2018 to pilot dwelling stock by tenure data for the four nations on the “GSS Data Project” which is prototyping producing a data repository for linked data across government producers of statistics. Progress can be tracked in the 2019 to 2020 work programme.

User research on England housing and planning statistics

Initiative
Review England housing and planning statistical releases to align with user interest as opposed to data collection streams, starting with social housing statistics.
Target date
Throughout 2019
Lead
Daniel Shaw, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Progress
Work ongoing. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has published a number of updated and improved housing and planning statistical bulletins with additional contextual information included. Related releases such as social lettings and social housing sales were published on the same day. In January 2019, MHCLG published a “call for user views” on possible changes to social housing and intend to consult more formally on final proposals in summer 2019. Progress can be tracked in the 2019 to 2020 work programme.

Developing a housing stock analytical resource for Wales

Initiative
Take forward work on developing a housing stock analytical resource for Wales, bringing together a range of data on the condition and energy efficiency of housing stock.
Target date
Throughout 2019
Lead
Sue Leake, Welsh Government
Progress
Work ongoing. A progress report was published in September 2018. We are working with the newly established Administrative Data Research Unit – Wales to seek access to further relevant administrative data. Progress can be tracked in the 2019 to 2020 work programme.

Identify topic areas to prioritise for coherence work

Initiative
Prioritise topics on which to provide insight across the four countries of the UK, using existing data, starting with the private rented sector (PRS).
Target date
July 2018
Lead
Tony Wilkins, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Initial prioritisation is complete. Following on from the PRS, affordable housing and homelessness have been identified as the next topics. Progress in these topic areas can be tracked in the 2019 to 2020 work programme.

Publish a UK article on the private rented sector

Initiative
Publish a UK article on the private rented sector, bringing together existing data sources to assess comparability, coherence, and assess any data limitations.
Target date
Late 2018
Lead
Chris Jenkins, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Complete. The Office for National Statistics published the UK private rented sector article on 18 January 2019.

Develop a conceptual framework for UK housing and planning statistics

Initiative
Develop a conceptual framework across the UK for housing and planning statistics to illustrate how we are measuring the housing and planning landscape, and assist in identification of priority topics for further improvement.
Target date
September 2018
Lead
Tony Wilkins, Office for National Statistics
Progress
First iteration complete. Further work ongoing. An experimental framework was published in September 2018. We are undertaking discussions with policy officials and wider users to inform the next iteration of the framework. Progress can be tracked in the 2019 to 2020 work programme.

Develop UK harmonisation work programme

Initiative
Produce a work programme for developing harmonised UK definitions across the four countries, where feasible, or promoting transparency where definitions are based on devolved legislation.
Target date
Throughout 2019
Lead
Sean Mattson, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Work ongoing. High level deliverables have been incorporated into the 2019 to 2020 work programme.

Conduct harmonisation feasibility study of homelessness

Initiative
Conduct feasibility work and aim to develop a UK understanding of homelessness definitions as a first priority.
Target date
November 2018
Lead
Sean Mattson, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Complete. A feasibility report into the harmonisation of definitions of homelessness in UK official statistics was published in February 2019. Work continues to produce a conceptual framework for UK homelessness statistics to explain the comparability in a user-friendly format. Progress can be tracked in the 2019 to 2020 work programme.

Improve coherence of England’s house-building statistics

Initiative
Produce initial plan to improve coherence between quarterly and annual estimates for house-building statistics for England.
Target date
June 2018
Lead
Daniel Shaw, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Progress
Complete. MHCLG published the Improving the measurement of new homes built action plan on 28 June 2018.

Assess options for improving Welsh house-building statistics

Initiative
Assess options for improving the coverage and quality of new house building statistics for Wales
Target date
Ongoing
Lead
Sue Leake, Welsh Government
Progress
Work ongoing. Discussions with building control specialists, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and policy colleagues are ongoing. Progress can be tracked in the 2019 to 2020 work programme.

Improve the measurement of homelessness and rough sleepers

Initiative
Improve the measurement of homelessness and rough sleepers, taking into account the country specific requirements relating to legislation and policy.
Target date
To required timescales
Lead
Ruth Davies, Office for National Statistics; Ricky Taylor, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG); Sue Leake, Welsh Government; James Sampson, Department for Communities Northern Ireland (DfC NI); Adam Krawczyk, Scottish Government
Progress
Work ongoing. Progress can be tracked in the 2019 to 2020 work programme. For England, first homelessness estimates based on Homelessness case level collections (H-CLIC) data were released on 13 December 2018 by MHCLG. For Wales, a feasibility study into introduction of individual case level homelessness data collection is ongoing. For DfC NI, working alongside Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) to produce a standalone biannual homelessness statistics publication. A prototype is currently being worked on. The Scottish Government already collects individual case level data on homelessness, use of temporary accommodation and preventative housing options activity, with summary statistics and analysis published on a biannual basis. Options on improving the measurement of rough sleepers are being considered by the Centre for Homelessness Impact (CHI), in liaison with the Scottish Government.

Plan next priorities for quality improvement

Initiative
Plan next priorities for quality improvement or to fill gaps in user need, taking a topic based approach.
Target date
September 2018
Lead
Debra Prestwood, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Complete. Homelessness and affordable housing have been identified as next topics. Research has started and articles will be planned for release. Priorities will continue to evolve as cross-UK user engagement develops. Progress can be tracked in the 2019 to 2020 work programme.

New methodology for household projections for England

Initiative
Implement new methodology for household projections for England.
Target date
September 2018
Lead
Richard Pereira, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Complete. Statistics based on the new methodology were published 20 September 2018. A blog on National Statistical was published 19 October 2018 giving more explanation of the publication.

Publish Welsh housing conditions data

Initiative
Publish first housing conditions data for Wales since 2008.
Target date
November 2018
Lead
Sue Leake, Welsh Government
Progress
Complete. The headline report on Welsh Housing Conditions Survey was published on 6 December 2018 . Further topic reports to continue throughout 2019, see the Welsh Housing Conditions Survey publication plan.

Check consistency of Northern Ireland housing stock statistics

Initiative
Scope the potential to create a comprehensive and consistent profile of Northern Ireland housing stock.
Target date
November 2018
Lead
James Sampson, Department for Communities Northern Ireland
Progress
Complete. Scoping exercises to identify “viable” housing stock have shown little difference to published housing stock figures.

Improve English dwelling stock by tenure statistics

Initiative
Implement initial improvements to dwelling stock by tenure statistics for England and sub-national housing affordability statistics for England and Wales.
Target date
March 2019
Lead
Nigel Henretty, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Complete. The Tenancy Deposit Protection schemes research article was published on 01 March 2019.

Create additional UK sub-national housing analyses

Initiative
Create relevant UK sub-national housing analyses in areas with limited official statistics, such as: landlords, mortgages and communal establishments.
Target date
Throughout 2019
Lead
Nigel Henretty, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Work ongoing. Initial analysis of first-time buyer housing affordability was published July 2018, using new mortgages data. Work has started using a linked address and property transactions dataset from Ordnance Survey to assess the feasibility of improving the statistics on transaction of newly built dwellings. Progress can be tracked in the 2019 to 2020 work programme.

Create a user engagement model

Initiative
Consider the optimal user engagement model with government and non-government users across the four countries of the UK to feed into continuing review of priorities.
Target date
September 2018
Lead
Debra Prestwood, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Complete. A cross-UK engagement model was agreed by the Cross-Government Housing Steering Group in Autumn 2018. Existing country events will incorporate sessions on cross-UK coherence. The first of these was the Wales Housing Information Group seminar on 24 January 2019 and a cross-UK event in London was held on 14 February 2019. Progress can be tracked in the 2019 to 2020 work programme.

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2019 to 2020 work programme

The work programme for 2019 to 2020 was finalised on 6 March 2020.

Publish interactive housing and planning statistics tool

Initiative
Enhance the housing statistics summary 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 housing and planning statistics guide. We have refined the tool following user feedback and lessons learnt from the publication of the homelessness interactive tool are being incorporated into the housing tool.

Collaborate with external organisations on data accessibility

Initiative
Continue to explore ways to work with UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) to improve data accessibility and explain country differences.
Target date
Ongoing
Lead
Nick Woodhill, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Work ongoing. Recent discussions include harmonisation of statistics and affordable housing data. We will continue to engage with CaCHE around their Data Navigator Hub, their potential Wiki and other ways to collaborate. The CaCHE Data Navigator was launched on 23 September.

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 (COGS) project.
Target date
Throughout 2019 and 2020
Lead
Nick Woodhill, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Work ongoing. The Connected Open Government Statistics (COGS) 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.

Provide links to other countries’ statistical releases

Initiative
Continue to provide links to other countries’ statistical releases and data in individual country releases and other similar initiatives.
Target date
Ongoing
Lead
All statistical producers
Progress
Work ongoing. This will be monitored by the Cross-Government Housing and Planning Statistics Working Group. An example of this is the “Related Statistics” section of MHCLG’s Affordable Housing Supply in England statistics which includes links and definitions for other UK countries’ statistics.

Review MHCLG’s housing and planning statistical releases

Initiative
Review Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) housing and planning statistical releases to align with user interest as opposed to data collection streams, starting with social housing statistics.
Target date
Summer 2019
Lead
Daniel Shaw, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Progress
Complete. MHCLG will continue to look to align its statistical outputs along topic lines. In January 2019 MHCLG published a “call for user views” on possible changes to social housing and consulted more formally on final proposals in the summer. We have now completed the consultation which was met with positive user responses and we have started to implement the changes with the ending of the Local authority housing statistics bulletin publication, and its data and analysis now appearing where most used.

Develop a housing stock analytical resource for Wales

Initiative
Take forward work on developing a housing stock analytical resource for Wales, bringing together a range of data on the condition and energy efficiency of housing stock.
Target date
Ongoing
Lead
Sue Leake, Welsh Government
Progress
Work ongoing. A progress report was published in September 2018. We continue to work with the newly established Administrative Data Research Unit – Wales to seek access to further relevant administrative data. Data has now been transferred to the UK Secure Research Platform (UK SeRP). Governance procedures are being established. We continue to seek access to other relevant datasets, such as energy consumption and data on social landlord dwellings, and to develop projects to demonstrate the value of the analysis available.

Prioritise new topic areas to improve UK coherence

Initiative
Further prioritisation of topics on which to provide insight across the four countries of the UK, using existing data.
Target date
Ongoing
Lead
Tony Wilkins, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Complete. Homelessness, affordable housing and housing conditions were identified as the initial topics for analysis. For 2020 we have identified housing affordability and housebuilding as the next priority topics following user feedback and consultations.

Publish cross-UK articles on homelessness, affordable housing, and housing conditions

Initiative
Publish cross-UK articles on homelessness, affordable housing, and housing conditions. Articles will bring together existing data sources to present comparability, coherence, and assess any data limitations.
Target date
Summer 2019 to autumn 2019
Lead
Tony Wilkins, Office for National Statistics; Building Research Establishment (BRE) Group
Progress
Complete. A cross-UK homelessness statistics article was published on 17 September alongside an article about improvements to statistics across the GSS and a homelessness interactive tool. The Affordable housing article was published on 6 November. BRE published The housing stock of the UK report on 17 February 2020.

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 experimenta.l statistical framework and use it to assist in identification of priority topics for further improvement or coherence
Target date
Throughout 2019
Lead
Tony Wilkins, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Initial work complete. 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 statistical guide spreadsheet. 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.

Explore the redevelopment of housing harmonised principles

Initiative
Prioritise existing housing harmonised principles for redevelopment, and publish plans for reviewing, developing or promoting them, with associated timescales.
Target date
Summer 2019
Lead
Sean Mattson, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Initial work complete. Further work ongoing. Initial reviews of existing housing harmonised principles are complete. We have conducted further research to prioritise the next steps and propose that the next phase of this work will focus on the Housing Costs and Benefits principle. Planning is underway to develop processes and timescales for redevelopment.

Investigate harmonisation of UK affordable housing statistics definitions

Initiative
Work with key stakeholders to investigate the terminology and definitions used for affordable housing statistics across the UK. Publish feasibility report and next steps for the potential harmonisation of Affordable Housing statistical definitions.
Target date
Autumn 2019
Lead
Sean Mattson, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Complete. The Affordable housing statistics in the UK: definitions, terminology and feasibility of harmonisation report was published on 6 November. The report outlines the different tenures and products that can be classified as affordable housing and identifies the key distinguishing factors. Based on discussions with stakeholders, the need for cross-UK statistics is also discussed along with a number of data gaps identified by stakeholders.

Investigate harmonisation of UK housing conditions statistics definitions

Initiative
Work with key stakeholders to investigate the terminology and definitions used for housing conditions statistics across the UK. Publish feasibility report and next steps for the potential harmonisation of housing conditions statistical definitions.
Target date
Spring 2020
Lead
Sean Mattson, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Work ongoing. Initial research has taken place to scope work that will take place from January. This will be discussed further with analysts from the housing conditions surveys in early 2020.

Publish plans to improve English house-building statistics

Initiative
In June 2018, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published a plan setting out current and future activity to assure and improve the coverage of its statistics relating to new homes built.
Target date
Ongoing
Lead
Daniel Shaw, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Progress
Work ongoing. MHCLG to continue to work with data providers improve the coverage of its quarterly house building statistics as outlined in the June 2018 action plan. In early 2020 we will publish an update to this action plan outlining progress and next steps.

Assess improvements to Welsh house-building statistics

Initiative
Assess options for improving the coverage and quality of new house building statistics for Wales.
Target date
Ongoing
Lead
Sue Leake, Welsh Government
Progress
Work ongoing. Initial discussions have been held with building control specialists, council tax officials, MHCLG and policy colleagues.

Improve household projections for England

Initiative
Respond to the recommendations of the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) compliance check of household projections for England against the Code of Practice for Statistics by publishing:

  • variant household projections for local authorities in England
  • updated methodological guidance
  • updated guidance on household projections across the UK
  • further information and analysis about the local authorities which experienced the largest changes between the 2014-based and 2016- based household projections for England
Target date
Summer 2019
Lead
Richard Pereira, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Complete. Four variant household projections for local authorities in England were published on 16 May 2019. On 27 August 2019, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published User guide to household projections across the UK, produced in collaboration with the Welsh Government, National Records of Scotland and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. ONS also published:

Together, these products address the findings of the OSR compliance check.

Publish reports on Welsh housing conditions

Initiative
Publish a series of topic reports on housing conditions in Wales using 2018 survey data, as outlined in the Welsh Housing Conditions Survey publication plan.
Target date
Throughout 2019 and early 2020
Lead
Sue Leake, Welsh Government
Progress
Work ongoing. Further topic reports to continue throughout 2019 and early 2020, see Welsh Housing Conditions Survey publication plan. The most recent report, published on 23 October, was on the energy efficiency of properties. A report on housing aids and adaptations is being prepared. Considerable analytical support has also been provided to the Advisory Group on Decarbonisation of Homes in Wales, prior to publication of the report Better Homes, Better Wales, Better World.

Investigate new methods to improve quality of housing statistics

Initiative
New methods – investigate new methods to improve the quality of housing statistics.
Target date
September 2019
Lead
Nigel Henretty, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Initial work complete, work is ongoing. Annual sub-national dwelling stock by tenure estimates were published on 27 November. These included the latest estimates using the current, survey-based method, as well as an article exploring an alternative, model-based method. The article finds that the overall precision of the model-based method is better than the survey-based method, and recommends that for English local authority estimates, this method is used in future releases.

Share best practice across departments and devolved administrations

Initiative
Share best practice across departments and devolved administrations.
Target date
September 2019
Lead
Nigel Henretty, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Initial work complete. We will continue to share best practice. Statisticians across the GSS have held workshops to share best practice in calculating sub-national dwelling stock by tenure estimates. On 24 September, Welsh Government published their latest dwelling stock estimates, incorporating methodological improvements which are more comparable with those used in England.

Use new administrative data sources to improve data quality

Initiative
New sources – investigate new administrative data sources to improve the quality of housing statistics.
Target date
March 2020
Lead
Nigel Henretty, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Work ongoing. Analysis is nearly complete on the effect of using data collated by Ordnance Survey on the coverage of transactions of new properties recorded by the Land Registry. On 30 January we published a research output to describe the effects of using the data, and recommended next steps for improving the coverage of new-build transactions. Work continues on measuring the energy performance of housing using Energy Performance Certificate data. In Spring 2020 we plan to publish analysis of the data to describe the energy efficiency of new and existing dwellings over time by local authority.

Explore supplementing the census questions with administrative data

Initiative
Undertaking analysis to explore the feasibility of supplementing the census questions with administrative data (such as on the total number of rooms, living space and property type), and the feasibility of moving to census-like administrative data based housing statistics.
Target date
Throughout 2019 and 2020
Lead
Stephan Tietz, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Initial work complete. Further work ongoing. A comparison between Census 2011 and Valuation Office Agency (VOA) results for the number of rooms and number of bedrooms was undertaken. Further work on the imputation methodology to be used for the number of rooms on the 2021 Census will be published in early 2020:

  • Comparison between 2011 Census accommodation type and VOA property type
  • Feasibility of property size measures using VOA floor space measures

Further work will be looking to use an administrative base such as Address Base to produce local authority-level estimates and to explore the feasibility of combining different administrative data sources (such as energy performance certificate data) to produce outputs on central heating, overcrowding or fuel poverty.

Develop a new fuel poverty strategy for Scotland

Initiative
Analytical and statistical support will be required for the development of the new fuel poverty strategy, which will set out the approach for tackling fuel poverty in Scotland and meeting the various targets contained in the Fuel Poverty (Targets, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Act.
Target date
Throughout 2019 and 2020
Lead
Adam Krawczyk, Scottish Government
Progress
Complete. The Fuel Poverty (Targets, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Act received Royal Ascent on 18 July 2019. Scottish Government Statisticians contributed analysis and advice in support of this Act. This included publishing estimates of what fuel poverty and extreme fuel poverty rates would look like under the new definition, based on changes agreed at Stage 2 of the Bill. Further work was undertaken in support of defining which type of households the new Enhanced Heating Regimes will apply to (taking into account views expressed in the public consultation) and how these could be measured within the Scottish House Condition Survey. Enhanced Heating Regulations were passed by Scottish Parliament Committee on 5 February 2020. The Scottish Government has commissioned the construction of a remote rural, remote small town and island (RRRSTI) Minimum Income Standard (MIS), required to monitor fuel poverty rates in these areas under the new definition. RRRSTI MIS Regulations were passed by Scottish Parliament Committee on 5 February 2020. The analytical focus is now on supporting the development of the Fuel Poverty Strategy to meet the various targets in the Act.

Analytical and statistical support for development of new fuel poverty strategy for Wales

Initiative
Analytical and statistical support for development of new fuel poverty strategy for Wales
Target date
Spring 2020
Lead
Sue Leake, Welsh Government
Progress
Work ongoing. During 2019, new fuel poverty estimates for Wales were published, and support has been provided for development of a new fuel poverty strategy for Wales. This is due to be consulted on during 2020.

Focus on user perspective of housing and planning 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.

Publish user engagement strategy for housing and planning statistics

Initiative
Publish user engagement strategy for housing and planning statistics.
Target date
May 2019
Lead
Nick Woodhill, Office for National Statistics
Progress
Complete. We published a user engagement statement in February 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 a 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 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 housing and planning 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: Wednesday 01 September 2021