2021 to 2022 work programme

Note: the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities was renamed from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in 2021.

GSS engagement activities

Initiative
The GSS will focus on the user need for housing and homelessness statistics to increase their public value and ensure new and emerging priorities are met.

This will include continued review of demand for comparable data across the UK through consultation with government policy and non-Government users.

Engagement activities will be tailored for each country.

Target date
Focus for all for April 2021 onwards
Lead
Government Statistical Service
Progress
Ongoing

We published a user engagement statement which 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.

We follow best practice and consult on user engagement activities in accordance with the GSS User Engagement Strategy for Statistics.

The GSS will continue to collaborate on user engagement activities, creating events or joining up across the GSS on existing events to understand priorities, including 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 shape our priorities and direction of travel. These have included:

  • Scottish Government conducted a user consultation in Winter 2020 and analysis has been completed; working groups have been established with data providers and stakeholders to discuss potential data developments; and there may be subsequent user consultation to provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to comment on proposed changes before they are finalised
  • user engagement event and survey (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, May 2021)
  • rough sleeping statistics presentation to the Statistics User Forum (Office for National Statistics, June 2021)
  • Welsh Government is continuing its stakeholder engagement through its Housing Information Group covering a range of topics including housing safety and improvements, 2021 Census outputs and second homes; briefing also took place on how to interpret monthly homelessness management information

Inclusive Data Taskforce

Initiative
Collect insights on the inclusiveness and representativeness of data and official statistics through consultation with civil society organisations and members of non-household populations.
Target date
Spring to Summer 2021
Lead
Dawn Snape (Centre for Equalities and Inclusion, Office for National Statistics)
Progress
Complete

Recommendations from the Inclusive Data Taskforce were published in September 2021.

The GSS will develop workstreams and plans to improve the data collections and analysis relating to non-private households, including some homeless populations.

Review of housing statistics publications

Initiative
Department for Communities will conduct a customer survey and user engagement events to feed into the future content of National Statistics annual compendium reports.
Target date
March 2022
Lead
Lesley Curry (Department for Communities, Northern Ireland)
Progress
Not started

User engagement will follow the publication of this year’s housing statistics publication in December 2021.

Develop the Homelessness Strategy

Initiative
The strategy will launch in 2022. Prior to the launch there will be consultation with users to understand options for improved data collection and analysis.
Target date
2022
Lead
Northern Ireland Housing Executive
Progress
Ongoing improvements

The draft Homelessness Strategy was launched on Tuesday 2 November 2021 ahead of a 12 week public consultation which concludes on Tuesday 25 January 2022. A Strategic Action Plan for Temporary Accommodation also forms part of the public consultation exercise.

Report on rough sleeping statistics from the UK

Initiative
Publish a coherence article bringing together rough sleeping statistics from across the UK, including the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Target date
Spring 2021
Lead
Tom Capon (GSS Housing and Homelessness Coherence, Office for National Statistics)
Progress
Complete

An article on rough sleeping in the UK was published.

Review the GSS Homelessness Interactive Tool to maximise user experience and accessibility

Initiative
A quarterly review will ensure that data is still relevant and current.
Target date
Quarterly
Lead
Alex Amaral-Rogers (GSS Housing and Homelessness Coherence, Office for National Statistics)
Progress
Ongoing

Minor updates to the GSS Interactive Tools were completed in September 2021, and these will continue quarterly. User engagement will be conducted in 2022 to further provide focus to future development of the tools.

Develop the SHARE indicator framework platform

Initiative
Develop the Centre for Homelessness Impact SHARE indicator framework platform in line with user needs.
Target date
Spring 2022
Lead
Guillermo Rodriguez (Centre for Homelessness Impact) and Michelle Waters (GSS Housing and Homelessness Coherence, Office for National Statistics)
Progress
Ongoing

SHARE developed in partnership with Office for National Statistics with support from the GSS. This is likely to include the addition of new indicators, new data categories and data for local authorities.

Improving measures of housing affordability statistics

Initiative
Publish additional measures of housing affordability including a wider variety of potential housing affordability situations, including upfront costs, mortgage repayments, and private rental affordability.
Target date
March 2022
Lead
Tony Wilkins (Housing Analysis, Office for National Statistics)
Progress
Ongoing

Following on from the additional measures of housing affordability research output published in March 2020, we will continue to develop and publish the additional measures as regular statistics starting with private rental affordability in October 2021.

Publish UK coherence articles based on user need

Initiative
Articles will bring together existing data sources to present comparability, coherence, and assess any data limitations.
Target date
2022
Lead
Michelle Waters (GSS Housing and Homelessness Coherence, Office for National Statistics)
Progress
Started

Initial consultation with GSS users has suggested the private rental sector and energy efficiency are priority areas. We are investigating the possibility of publishing coherence articles on these topics in 2022. Initial work on available data sources is progressing.

Improve data on affordable housing supply in England

Initiative
This long-term project will improve the coherence of statistics on additions to and losses from the affordable housing for rent sector.
Lead
Richard Field (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
Progress
Ongoing

In April 2021, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities started collecting local authority data which is intended to improve net estimates of England’s local authority and private registered providers of affordable housing for rent.

The 2020 to 2021 edition of Social Housing Sales in England will include figures and commentary based on the improved data collected and move closer to a net picture of the supply of affordable housing for rent. This will be published in December 2021 to January 2022. The current intention, subject to data quality, is to produce an experimental statistics release in July to September 2022 with an estimate of net affordable housing in England. Work to progress further onto changes between tenures within affordable housing has already begun, with piloting of additional data collection, but outputs from this would not be available until at least the publication of data collected for the 2021 to 2022 financial year.

Energy efficiency of housing

Initiative
We are planning to work across government, including using the new Integrated Data Service (IDS) Private Beta, to analyse and publish statistics and research related to housing and energy. We will start with detailed investigation into the energy efficiency of housing at a subnational level, using Energy Performance Certificates and Property Attributes data.
Target date
Throughout 2022
Lead
Tony Wilkins (Housing Analysis, Office for National Statistics) and Claire Lyall (Valuation Office Agency)
Progress
In progress

The project has been chosen as one of the initial pilot projects for the Private Beta of the Integrated Data Service. The first publication of Phase 1 was published on 10 November 2021, with plans to expand the scope in 2022.

Analysis of Census 2021 data for homeless populations

Initiative
Develop new insight and analysis on homeless populations using data collected during Census 2021 in England and Wales, subject to user needs and data quality. Collaborate across the GSS to understand the data quality of the counts and options for publications.
Target date
From 2022
Lead
Michelle Waters (GSS Housing and Homelessness Coherence, Office for National Statistics)
Progress
Initial scoping started

Census data has been collected and is being processed. A census outputs consultation has also been completed which requested feedback from users regarding needs for outputs relating to homeless groups. We are carefully reviewing the findings.

Improve inclusion of under-represented population groups in our statistics, in particular homeless groups

Initiative
Understand sources and approaches to better estimate the scale of homeless population groups. Review practices in different countries for estimating these groups, recommend best practice approaches and outline implementation steps.
Target date
2022
Lead
Dawn Snape (Centre for Equalities and Inclusion, Office for National Statistics)
Progress
Initial scoping started

Conduct qualitative research to understand more about the lived experiences of specific non-household population groups under-represented in UK data and evidence

Initiative
Qualitative research is planned to understand more about the lived experiences of specific non-household populations. In the first instance, the focus will be on Gypsy and Traveller groups.
Target date
2022
Lead
Dawn Snape (Centre for Equalities and Inclusion, Office for National Statistics)
Progress
Not started

Improve the evidence base for homelessness in England

Initiative
Use Homelessness Case Level Collection (H-CLIC) data in England to improve the evidence base for homelessness through the Homelessness Data England Project (HDE). HDE facilitates the linking of H-CLIC data over time, across geographical boundaries, and enhanced with information from other government departments.

This aims to aid and improve understanding of how households and individuals cycle in and out of homelessness over time and across the country.

Lead
Catherine Barham (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) and Rhodri Williams (Administrative Data Research UK)
Progress
In progress

A pilot using data from a sample of local authorities has been completed to test the systems and processes. Data ingest from other local authorities continues following data sharing agreements being signed.

Expand coverage and quality of case level homelessness data in England

Initiative
Expand coverage and quality of case level homelessness data in England including through:

  • develop a performance dashboard which will show high level performance indicators, allowing easier benchmarking between local authorities and within region
  • develop quality dashboards for data providers (local authorities)
  • develop and enhance options for submissions of data between local authorities and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, including via application programming interfaces
Target date
Throughout 2021 and 2022
Lead
Catherine Barham, Danielle Ryan and Valerie Viloria (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
Progress
In progress

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities have:

Dashboards will be developed to report statistics, and flows of data between providers and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. Improvements will be implemented alongside the quarterly and financial year homelessness publications.

Publish analysis on people sleeping rough in England

Initiative
Collect information to understand individuals that sleep rough, including trends, spatial patterns, characteristics and the duration and frequency of rough sleeping, from a variety of data sources including the annual rough sleeping snapshot and management information.
Target date
Throughout 2021 and into 2022
Lead
Jon White (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
Progress
Ongoing

Monthly management information regarding support for people sleeping rough and at risk of rough sleeping as part of “everyone in” and the Next Steps Accommodation Programme continues to be collected. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities continue to explore options to develop, analyse and publish data.

Rough sleeping annual snapshots (one night) in England occur from 1 October to 31 November. This will be published in February 2022 (provisional date). Local authorities are liaising with Homeless Link to ensure robust data collection.

Case level homelessness data collection in Wales

Initiative
Explore the feasibility of introducing case level homelessness data in Wales.
Lead
Sue Leake (Welsh Government)
Progress
Ongoing

The UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence has published a feasibility study into a new case level homelessness data system in Wales.

Improve homelessness and rough sleeping statistics in Wales

Initiative
Publish monthly management information on homelessness and rough sleeping in Wales.

The release covers temporary accommodation and the provision of long-term accommodation for people who present to local authorities for housing support as they are at risk of homelessness. It also includes estimates of rough sleeping, including a breakdown by local authority (from November 2020). Published data on accommodation is currently at Wales-level only.

Lead
Sue Leake (Welsh Government)
Progress
Ongoing monthly publication

Discussions regarding future publications, including the quarterly homelessness official statistics published prior to the onset of the pandemic, are ongoing.

Homelessness and rough sleeping research and evaluation in England

Initiative
Carry out an ongoing homelessness and rough sleeping research and evaluation programme in England.
Lead
Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

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.
Lead
Beth Manders (Health and Life Events, Office for National Statistics)
Progress
Ongoing improvements

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.

December 1 2021 is confirmed as the publication date for deaths registered in 2020.

Deaths of homeless people in Scotland

Initiative
Continue to publish and improve statistics on deaths of people experiencing homelessness in Scotland.
Lead
Julie Ramsay (National Records of Scotland)
Progress
Ongoing improvements

Statistics for 2020 death registrations were published on 30 November 2021. Statistics for 2021 are expected in autumn or winter 2022. National Records of Scotland (NRS) have identified a need to work closely with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to consider the comparability between NRS and ONS estimates. Policies put in place during the pandemic may have had differing impacts on the ability to identify homeless people in the death registration data in different parts of the UK.

Improve homelessness and rough sleeping statistics in Northern Ireland

Initiative
Conduct a street needs audit to understand street activity in major cities to develop the evidence base.
Target date
2022
Lead
Northern Ireland Housing Executive
Progress
Ongoing

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive is preparing for its annual rough sleeping count and estimate (one-night) for Northern Ireland and its district councils for 2021. Evidence based street counts will be carried out in Belfast, Derry or Londonderry and Newry while evidence based estimates will be carried out in all other areas.

Improve homelessness and rough sleeping statistics in Northern Ireland

Initiative
Commission research to explore the relationships between homelessness and health (Queen’s University Belfast).
Target date
From 2022
Lead
Northern Ireland Housing Executive
Progress
The Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) is working with Queen’s University Belfast on a research project that aims to explore relationships between homelessness and health using case level data. The current stage of the project is to finalise the data sharing agreements. Project outcomes will allow NIHE to better understand the health needs of presenters for homelessness assistance. A draft data sharing agreement has been circulated between the relevant agencies ahead of sign-off.

Improve homelessness and rough sleeping statistics in Northern Ireland

Initiative
Develop new insight and analysis on homeless populations using data collected during Census 2021 in Northern Ireland subject to user needs and data quality.
Target date
From 2022
Lead
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Progress
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency are exploring options for analysis on hidden homelessness following the 2021 Census in Northern Ireland. This will be followed up on ahead of the publication of the census. The initial indication is that a question on non-permanent household members is of potential relevance to hidden homelessness.

Develop a fuel poverty strategy approach

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
23 December 2021
Lead
Adam Krawczyk (Scottish Government)
Progress
Complete

Fuel Poverty Strategy Technical Annex publication, covering:

  • drivers of fuel poverty
  • characteristics of fuel poor households and dwellings
  • heating behaviours research
  • feasibility, costs and impacts of energy efficiency improvements

will be published alongside the Fuel Poverty Strategy document.

Develop a new Northern Ireland Planning Portal

Initiative
The new planning portal is an administrative system to enable planning functions to be carried out across Northern Ireland. The current planning portal was at end of contract life and a new system is being developed. The new system will provide a more streamlined provision of the required data necessary to produce the suite of planning statistics currently published. In addition, the new system will hold information that was not previously held on the planning system, this will remove the need to maintain some production processes that were carried out alongside the current system. Department for Infrastructure Statisticians are attending weekly workshops and will be an integral part of the testing phase prior to public launch of a new portal.
Target date
March 2022
Lead
Suzanne Napier (Department for Infrastructure, Northern Ireland) 
Progress
In development

Improvements to the council tax stock of properties statistical release showing statistics for England and Wales

Initiative
This improved release now includes annual council tax statistics from 1993 to 1994 to 2020 to 2021.
Target date
September 2021
Lead
Claire Lyall (Valuation Office Agency) 
Progress
Complete

This improved release now includes annual council tax statistics from 1993 to 1994 to 2020 to 2021 (previously only including the current financial year). Statistics have been introduced to show numbers of properties inserted into or deleted from the council tax Valuation Lists from 1993 to 1994 to 2020 to 2021, along with the reason for insertion or deletion.

Improvements to housing population estimates

Initiative
As a result of Office for Statistics Regulation recommendations, the Office for National Statistics have improved their outputs and guidance.
Target date
Spring 2021
Lead
Richard Pereira and James Robards (Population and Housing Projections, Office for National Statistics)
Progress
Complete

As a result of the recommendations, Office for National Statistics has published:

2021 Census analysis (England and Wales) – housing

Initiative
Analysis of census housing variables for England and Wales will begin in 2022, with a range of publications planned between mid-2022 and late 2023. The information in the census will be quality assured and enhanced through using other data sources.

Beyond March 2023, the Office for National Statistics will focus on more complex projects that require linking or comparing Census 2021 data with other data sources. For example, Scotland and Northern Ireland’s Census data, previous censuses, or with other government surveys and administrative sources. This will enable development of detailed insights to inform future policy initiatives.

Target date
2023
Lead
Tony Wilkins (Housing Analysis, Office for National Statistics)
Progress
In progress

Census data has been collected and is being processed. As a result of the Census Output Consultation, housing analysis proposals were published in October 2021, which lists planned outputs and publication schedule.

Transform the storage, processing and quality assurance of the data used to produce the quarterly Housing supply: indicators of new supply National Statistics

Initiative
We will move data ingestion, storage and processing to the department’s strategic data store. This will enable us to introduce more automation, reduce risks and increase quality assurance and analysis work, resulting in better quality statistics produced more efficiently.
Target date
2022
Lead
Richard Field (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
Progress
Initial scoping started

This work has been delayed behind other priorities but remains an important part of our improvement work.

Explore the feasibility of moving to census-like administrative data-based housing statistics

Initiative
Office for National Statistics is exploring how we can use an administrative base to produce subnational estimates of housing characteristics by combining different administrative data sources. These would replace future Census estimates of housing stock characteristics for residential occupied addresses (including tenure and levels of overcrowding).
Target date
Through 2022 and 2023
Lead
Stephan Tietz (Admin-based Education, Qualifications and Housing Characteristics, Office for National Statistics)
Progress
In progress

Currently updating previous research on replacing census accommodation type using Valuation Office Agency (VOA) property type data. Possibility of publication early 2022.

Explorative research into harmonising VOA and Energy Performance Certificate floor area is underway. Possibility of publication early to mid 2022.

Work has begun on linking several data sources to produce a minimum viable product of an Admin Based Housing Stock Profile (such as age, property type, number of bed rooms, number of rooms). Possibility of publishing early results in mid to late 2022.

Creating an e-cohort of individuals with lived experience of homelessness and subsequent mortality in Wales

Initiative
To identify a homelessness e-cohort by linking routine health data in Wales, and explore whether a period of reported past homelessness, places this population at greater risk of morbidity and mortality.
Lead
Jiao Song (Public Health Wales)
Progress
Complete

Analysis completed and an academic paper published on Journal of Public Health in June 2021.

Health of individuals with lived experience of homelessness in Wales, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Initiative
To better understand the demographic characteristics and long-term health conditions of people with lived experience of homelessness in Wales with a broad definition to include both street homelessness and precarious or insecure housing; and explore how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affected service activity and healthcare outcomes for this population.
Lead
Jiao Song (Public Health Wales)
Progress
Complete

Analysis completed. Report and research briefing published in October 2021.

New system for collecting data on social housing lettings and sales (CORE)

Initiative
The new system will make it easier and less burdensome for the approximately 3,000 data providers to supply accurate data. This should improve the completeness and quality of the data and hence the statistics.
Target date
2022
Lead
Richard Field (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
Progress
In development

The system build is currently in Alpha phase, with early user testing underway and plans to move to Beta phase in early 2022.

Improvements to the annual council tax stock of properties statistical release showing statistics for England and Wales

Initiative
The Valuation Office Agency will continually look to make improvements to both the quality and content of this annual release by incorporating feedback obtained from users. Due to limitations with gov.uk, we will look for opportunities to publish our data geospatially, possibly through the Integrated Data Service.
Target date
2023 to 2024 
Lead
Claire Lyall (Valuation Office Agency) 

Improve data on second homes, empty homes and short-term holiday lets in Wales

Initiative
Welsh Government is working with local authorities, the Office for National Statistics, Welsh Revenue authority and others to seek to improve data available on second homes, empty homes and short-term holiday lets in Wales.
Lead
Sue Leake (Welsh Government)
Progress
In progress

Housing Conditions Evidence Programme in Wales

Initiative
Welsh Government continue developing the Housing Stock Analytical Resource for Wales, bringing together a range of data on the condition and energy efficiency of housing stock, together with consideration of need for any future housing conditions evidence programme.
Lead
Sue Leake (Welsh Government)
Progress
In progress

Programme has been refocussed. Welsh Government analysts support policy work on decarbonisation of housing, new housing quality standards and fuel poverty whilst continuing to seek access to relevant dataset, such as energy consumption, council tax and data on social landlord dwellings and supporting developments of relevant dataset of building safety and quality.

Improve homelessness and rough sleeping statistics in Scotland

Initiative
Improve homelessness and rough sleeping statistics in Scotland to improve usability and make more engaging and understandable.
Target date
June 2021 publication
Lead
Sara White (Scottish Government)
Progress
Publication complete

Style of homelessness publications reformatted and updated to improve usability. New analysis made available in the publication and equalities breakdowns released earlier than usual, now in line with annual publication.

We intend to develop a shared case management system to enable confidential exchange of relevant information between organisations supporting people experiencing homelessness. The Scottish Government will work in collaboration with frontline organisations, local authorities and people with lived experience of homelessness to develop the new system. We will restart this work by the end of 2021. This development may have potential to improve data on homelessness and rough sleeping in Scotland.

Ensure the coherence of Integrated Data Service housing and homelessness outputs

Initiative
Work alongside Integrated Data Service (IDS) to provide coherence expertise to feed into the future IDS platforms aimed at transforming the accessibility of open housing and homelessness data.
Target date
Summer 2022 for initial IDS housing outputs
Lead
Michelle Waters (GSS Housing and Homelessness Coherence, Office for National Statistics)
Progress
Initial scoping started

Improve accessibility of the Northern Ireland Planning Monitoring Framework

Initiative
The Northern Ireland Planning Monitoring Framework publication is being reviewed with a view to reduce the overall file size of published document; developing visuals and carry out work towards further meeting accessibility requirements.
Target date
December 2021
Lead
Suzanne Napier (Department for Infrastructure, Northern Ireland) 
Progress
In progress

Work is underway with a plan to ensure a data release as early as possible, publishing the suite of excel tables on the 2 December 2021 at 9.30am. The release of the infographic pdf document will come after this date.

Northern Ireland’s Planning Statistics excel tables will be developed to bring them line with accessibility guidance

Target date
March 2022
Lead
Suzanne Napier (Department for Infrastructure, Northern Ireland) 
Progress
While Planning Statistics Bulletin has been updated to reflect accessibility requirements (published July 2021). Further work required on excel tables to meet accessibility requirements.

Add interactive data visualisation tools to National Statistics publications on housing and planning

Initiative
Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has developed the capability to host and publish Power BI products and we are exploiting this capability to make our statistical publications more accessible and engaging for users.
Target date
Progressive rollout
Lead
Richard Field (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
Progress
In progress

We already introduced interactive data visualisation tools, or dashboards, as part of several of our housing and planning statistics publications, and continue to develop these further. We have prioritised areas where we believe such tools can add most value for users.

Harmonisation of housing questions

Initiative
While a strong user need has not been identified to review and redevelop the housing harmonised standards, Social Survey Transformation in Office for National Statistics is developing and testing a tenure question. The outcome of this question development will be reviewed in order to consider updating the tenure harmonised standard.
Target date
March 2022
Lead
Michelle Waters (GSS Housing and Homelessness Coherence, Office for National Statistics)
Progress
In progress

This page was last updated on: Tuesday 14 December 2021