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Research update

The latest news from the Welsh Government Knowledge and Analytical Services team.

Welsh Government Housing Research

The following projects have recently been published:

  • An evaluation of extra care in Wales looking at the role of extra care in older people’s housing and of the experience of residents has been completed. The final report was published in October 2017.
  • The Welsh Government has commissioned research into the fees charged to tenants in the private rented sector in Wales. The research looked at what constitutes a fee as well as explore the potential impact of banning these fees. Research was undertaken with letting agents and landlords across Wales and the final report published in August 2017.
  • An evaluation of the changes made to homelessness legislation (Housing (Wales) Act 2014) is also underway. The overall aim of this evaluation is to understand how the legislation has been implemented by organisations involved in supporting people at risk of homelessness (local authorities, housing associations and third sector organisations), and what the experience has been of those seeking help under the new legislation. The first report from this evaluation was published in August 2017 and the final report will follow in 2018.
  • In the Spring of 2016, the Welsh Government published a report on a feasibility project. This project explored whether administrative data could be used to evidence the impact of the Supporting People programme on the health service use of those accessing the support. The report concluded that administrative data could be used in this way and so the main stage of the Supporting People Administrative Data Project is now underway. A update report was published in July 2017, with further annual reports to follow.

The following research projects are currently underway:

  • The evaluation of Rent Smart Wales (the registering and licensing of landlords in Wales) has explored how the scheme has been implemented, as well as the impact the Scheme has had so far on landlords, letting agents and tenants. The evaluation will include research with a number of key groups and stakeholders, including landlords, letting agents and tenants. The final report is due for publication in late early 2018.
  • An evaluation of the homelessness services available to adults leaving the adult secure estate is now underway. The aim of the evaluation is to understand the early impacts of recent legislative changes and the introduction of the new national pathway on former prisoners who were homeless or at risk of homelessness as they approach their release. The evaluation will also look at the impact on those involved in supporting those former prisoners, such as local authorities, criminal justice agencies, housing associations and third sector organisations. The report is expected to be published in 2018.
  • A review of the social housing rent policy is also underway. This will explore whether the current rent policy is fit for purpose and achieves its original objectives, particularly in the context of the external developments mentioned above. The final report is expected in 2018.

All housing research reports can be found at: gov.wales/statistics-and-research

Housing Conditions Evidence Programme

Welsh Housing Condition Survey 2017-18 (WHCS)

A successful pilot of the survey systems and procedures took place in May. Fieldwork started at the beginning of August and will conclude in April 2018. First results will be available in Autumn 2018, with updated fuel poverty estimates by the end of 2018. A consultation with stakeholders and users is planned for the end of this year to inform how best to disseminate the data.

Housing Stock Analytical Resource for Wales (HSAR- formerly known as the ‘Dwelling Spine’)

A project manager to lead this work stream has been appointed which will allow us to plan more clearly the development of this resource to capture and store linked data about the characteristics, fabric, condition and energy efficiency of the housing stock in Wales. This will be used alongside the results of the WHCS to provide improved modelling of the survey data to a lower level of geography as well as more up-to-date data than that available from occasional housing condition surveys  

Housing Statistics

Recent publications:

  • Mortgage and Landlord Possession Actions, January to March (Headline) 11 May
  • New House Building in Wales 2016-17, annual release – 8 June
  • Social Housing Sales, 2016-17, annual release – 13 July
  • Help to Buy Wales, April to June 2017, (Headline) – 27 July
  • Homelessness in Wales 2016-17, annual release – 27 July
  • Social landlord Housing Stock and Rents as at 31 March 2017, annual release – 9 August
  • Mortgage and Landlord Possession Actions, April to June 2017 (Headline) 10 August
  • New House Building in Wales, April to June 2017 (Headline) – 14 September
  • Homelessness in Wales, April to June 2017 (Headline) – 28 September
  • Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) as at 31 March 2017, annual release – 5 October
  • Affordable Housing Provision in Wales, 2016-17, annual release – 19 October.

Up and coming publications

  • Help to Buy Wales, July to September 2017, (Headline) – 26 October
  • Mortgage and Landlord Possession Actions, July to September 2017 (Headline) 9 November
  • New House Building in Wales, July to September 2017 (Headline) – 7 December
  • Homelessness in Wales, July to September 2017 (Headline) – 14 December
  • Housing Demolitions, 2016-17 (Headline) – 19 December
  • Housing Hazards and Licences, 2016-17, annual release – 19 December

All releases are available from www.wales.gov.uk/statistics


During the 2015-16, a number of factors impacted on the quality and accuracy of the data on statutory homeless and given the concerns over data quality a temporary de-designation of the Homelessness Statistics data for 2015-16 was agreed with the UK Statistics Authority.

We continued to work closely with policy collegaues and other stakeholders throughout 2016-17 to resolve the quality and accuracy issues experienced during the previous year. Following discussion with the Office for Statistics Regulation, which is the regulatory arm of the UK Statistics Authority, the temporary National Statistics de-designation came to an end in July 2017. Further information is available at: www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/correspondence/national-statistics-designation-of-homelessness-statistics-in-wales/

The annual National Rough Sleeper count will take place in early November 2017 with results to be published on 1 February 2018.

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