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Research update

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

 Welsh Government Housing Research

  • An evaluation of homelessness services available to young people leaving the secure estate is currently underway. 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.
  • 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.
  • A project exploring the issue of social housing evictions has recently begun. The project will seek to gather data on rates and reasons for evictions, as well as an understanding of the processes social landlords have put in place to support tenants in avoiding eviction.
  • A review of priority need in Wales has also just been commissioned. This will review the current implementation of priority need, but also explore potential options for change. The impact of each option on local authorities, housing providers, the third sector and of course those accessing housing support will be assessed.

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

Housing Conditions Evidence Programme

Welsh Housing Condition Survey 2017-18 (WHCS)

The first national headline results from the Welsh Housing Conditions Survey (WHCS) 2017-18 were published on December 6. The release focuses on housing stock characteristics and housing conditions and was published as national statistics.  There is also an easy-to-use results viewer on our webpages covering a range of topics, which will be expanded as more analysis is completed. A quality report and a summary technical report are also available on our webpages. The non-disclosive set of the WHCS data will be available on the UK Data Archive soon, with more detailed data available direct from the WHCS team, under special licence.

Now that the headline results have been published, work will begin on more detailed topic specific analysis (at the national level). The first of these will be an assessment of some elements of the WHQS. More information about the planned publications can be found on the WHCS page. Headline fuel poverty estimates will be available in April 2019, with detailed reporting to follow in the summer.

Housing Stock Analytical Resource for Wales (HSAR)

After building a proof-of-concept version of HSAR in 2018, the autumn saw work being scaled back to focus on analysing the Welsh Housing Conditions Survey results. Work on HSAR has now resumed and we are working with Welsh Government’s Administrative Data Research Unit to provide ONS with business cases for sharing relevant data under the Digital Economy Act. These datasets include HMRC, DWP and VOA data. Existing HSAR data will be migrated to the long-term hosting solution (a UK Secure e-Research Platform) during the spring and we will be looking to add information about energy consumption, smart meters and prepayment meters and engaging with social housing providers with a view to accessing their stock management data.

Housing Statistics

Upcoming publications

  • Homelessness, October – December 2018 (headline) – 21 March
  • Dwelling stock estimates 2017-18 (Annual release) – 18 April
  • Help to Buy-Wales – 2017-18 (Annual release) – 25 April
  • Private Sector Rents for Wales 2018 (Annual release) – May
  • New House Building , 2018-19 (Annual release|) – 6 June
  • Social Housing Sales 2018-19 (Annual release) – 11 July.

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

Cross-Government Housing Statistics Group

The Cross-Government Housing Statistics Group (CGHSG) published a topic report focussing on the private rental sector on 18 January. Further information including a conceptual framework across the UK for housing and planning statistics is available along with the group’s current work plan.


The GSS Harmonisation Team maintains and develops a range of fully approved harmonised principles and standards for administrative data.  The harmonisation team has been looking at the feasibility of a harmonised definition of homelessness across the UK and the initial report of findings was published on 28 February.

On 25 February, ONS published information on ‘Deaths of homeless people in England and Wales, 2013-2017 – LA level data’.

Estimates of Housing Need and Demand

Estimates of Housing Need in Wales were published on 30January. The minister for housing and local government published a written statement on the same day. The estimates cover 2018/19 to 2037/38 and are presented at both a national and regional level. They relate to the need for additional housing units are a based on estimates of existing unmet need and newly arising need. The estimates will be used to inform the National Development Frameworkand housing policy development.

For the first five years (2018/19 to 2022/23) it is estimated that on average between 6,700 and 9,700 additional housing units will be required annually in Wales (with a central estimate of 8,300). The estimates gradually decrease over the following 15 years to a central estimate of below 4,000 by the mid 2030s. This reflects a slowdown in the projected household growth in the 2014-based household projections.

Estimates broken down by housing tenure will be published in spring 2019.

Housing Information Group (HIG)

The next HIG meeting will be held on Thursday 9 May, 10:00 to 13:00 in Welsh Government Offices, Cathays Park. The theme and agenda to be announced shortly by. KASevents.

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