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Research update

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

Welsh Government Housing Research

Recent publications

This evaluation obtained the views of the licensing authority, local authorities, private landlords, lettings agents and tenants on the implementation of the new legislation. The final report offers insight into the implementation and delivery of Rent Smart Wales to date.

The evaluation assesses how changes to legislative duties towards those leaving custody have been implemented by local authorities, prisons and probation providers both in prison and in the community. It also undertakes an initial assessment of the impact of these changes on ex-offenders and identifies good practice and areas for improvement.

The aim of this four year study is to use administrative data to explore the impact of the Supporting People programme on the public service use of those who access support. This report provides updates on data collection and progress towards the substantive analysis.

The following research projects are also underway:

  • An evaluation of the changes made to homelessness legislation under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 is to be published soon. The aim of this evaluation is to understand how the legislation has been implemented and what the experience has been of those seeking help under the new law.
  • A review of the social housing rent policy in Wales is also underway. This is exploring whether the current rent policy is fit for purpose and achieves its original objectives.
  • We have also recently commissioned an evaluation of homelessness services available to young people leaving the secure estate. It will attempt to understand the early impacts of legislation on young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness as they approach their release.

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

Housing Conditions Evidence Programme

Welsh Housing Condition Survey 2017-18 (WHCS)

Fieldwork for the survey has finished! We achieved a total of 2,550 completed inspections – 50 more than the minimum we required for national level estimates.  Given that in January this year we were two thirds of the way through fieldwork and only had half the number of required inspections, we have made great progress.  This was down to the introduction of a £10 conditional incentive and the hard efforts of both the ONS National Survey interviewers and the BRE surveyors.

Thank you to those of you who completed our output options survey. We received 44 responses. A summary report of results will be published on our webpage in the coming weeks, where we will outline our plans for communicating the results of the WHCS 2017-18. This is in line with the Official Statistics Code of Practice.

The Statistical First Release has been announced for November. The release will focus on headline national estimates and include as much detail, and where possible UK comparisons, as we can in the time we have available – it’s a balance to get as much information out as possible as quickly as possible. Once the release has been published the data will be available to analysts for specific projects under data access agreements whilst it is archived with the UK Data Service.  We are continuing to work with the Office for Statistics Regulation to secure National Statistics badging in time for publication.

Housing Stock Analytical Resource for Wales (HSAR)

An initial proof of concept version of HSAR has been built and the first demonstration statistics recently extracted. This internal test version includes Energy Performance Certificates (EPC), Rent Smart Wales, Land Registry and Rent Officers data as well as data from Powys local authority and Trivallis, one of Wales’ largest registered social landlords. Extensive work has been conducted, and is ongoing, to cleanse and link data.

As part of its work on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, ONS have offered to assist with statistical modelling of HSAR data, with the hope being to improve the housing domain of the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation. We have provided them with a list of priority data requirements and experts at their Data Science Campus are currently investigating the feasibility of being able to produce accurate models.

The focus of the coming months will be to continue with data cleansing and linking work, develop a long-term hosting solution for HSAR and complete a GDPR privacy impact assessment, which will help inform how data might be shared externally. A HSAR progress report will be published in the summer.

Housing statistics

Recent publications

  • Social Housing Vacancies, Lettings and Arrears- annual release- 1 March
  • New House Building in Wales, October to December 2017 (Headline) – 8 March
  • Homelessness in Wales , October to December 2017 (Headline) – 22 March
  • Help to Buy-Wales, data to 31 March 2018 – annual release – 25 April
  • Dwelling Stock Estimates as at 31 March 2017, annual release – 26 April
  • Private Sector Rents in Wales 2017, annual release – 1 May
  • Mortgage and Landlord Possession Actions, January to March (Headline) 11 May 2018
  • New House Building in Wales, 2017-18 – annual release – 7 June

Upcoming publications

  • Social Housing Sales, 2017-18 – annual release -12 July
  • Help to Buy-Wales, April to June 2018 – (Headline) -25 July
  • Homelessness in Wales 2017-18 – annual release – 26 July
  • Social Landlord Housing Stock and Rents 2017-18- annual release – 8 August
  • Mortgage and Landlord Possession Actions April to June (Headline) – August
  • New House Building, April to June 2018 – (Headline) 13 September.

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


Individual Homelessness data project

TheUK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE)and Welsh Government have agreed to jointly fund a feasibility study with the primary focus of exploring the feasibility of introducing an individual level data collection, reporting and analysis system in relation to homelessness in Wales. The project will be led Dr Ian Thomas of Cardiff University will work with Welsh Government on a part-time basis for a year.

National Assembly report on rough sleeping

The report Life on the streets: preventing and tackling rough sleeping in Wales was published on 20 April  by the National Assembly’s  Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee. The report follows on from an Assembly inquiry into rough sleepingand includes a number of recommendations for the Welsh Government to take forward. Section 3 of the report covers the annual rough sleeping data collection exercise.

Street Homeless Information Network (SHIN) project

A new Street Homeless Information Network which is being developed in Wales by The Wallich. The project has been part funded by the Welsh Government and aims to develop a consistent and coordinated approach to the responding to, and monitoring of, rough sleeping in Wales.This will be in the form of a cloud-based database much like CHAIN which has been used successfully in London for a long time.

Social housing rent arrears

We have temporarily removed social housing rent arrears data from our website due to concerns that the data provided by some social landlords may be inconsistent. We are currently working with data providers to understand these inconsistencies, and to collect revised, consistent data.

New house building data

As part of an ongoing process of reviewing the information collected and published on new house building in Wales, KAS are currently in discussions with policy colleagues around possible options for changes aimed at improving its quality, coverage and consistency.

Welsh Index of Multiple deprivation (WIMD)

The Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation identifies the most deprived small areas in Wales, and will be updated in 2019 (last done in 2014).

We plan to publish a consultation during autumn 2018 on proposed indicators for WIMD 2019, and are currently working with a range of experts and users of the data to develop our proposals

This includes considering what to measure in the housing domain, especially whether work on the new Housing Conditions Evidence Programme might lead to administrative data or modelled survey data to input to the Housing domain.

Further information is available at


Cross-Government Housing Statistics Group

In November 2017, the Office for Statistics Regulation published a report covering their strategic review of the public value of statistics on housing and planning in the UK. Following on from this, a cross-government housing statistics group was established to take forward recommendations made in this report. Welsh Government are represented on the group which met for the third time on 22 May.

Updates to statistics and research web pages

The Welsh Government Statistics and Research web pages are being rebuilt and improved. To assist in this process users of the site are being asked for their views at the following link:


CIH Public Perceptions of Social Housing survey

On 24 April 2018 the Chartered Institute for Housing published the results of a survey into public attitudes to housing in Wales. This report  is the first piece of work completed through CIH Cymru’s Tyfu Tai Cymru project – a five-year policy project seeking to address gaps in evidence to inform current and future housing policy in Wales funded by the Oak Foundation.

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