Assessment of statistics on Statutory Homelessness in England
Thank you for inviting us to assess DLUHC’s statistics on Statutory Homelessness in England against the Code of Practice for Statistics. We have today published our Assessment Report covering these statistics. I am grateful for the positive contribution and engagement from your team throughout the assessment process.
We welcome the significant and ambitious redevelopment that the statistics have undergone since our last assessment of the statistics in 2015, and following the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) in 2017.
Our assessment found that users highly value these statistics and the insights they provide; that they are presented impartially and objectively; and that the statistics team has improved the supporting information that is made available to users. There are also ambitious development plans in place which promise to further enhance the public value of the statistics, such as to link the H-CLIC case-level homelessness data with administrative and other sources and develop new data dashboards to allow users to interrogate the data more easily.
We have identified several ways that the statistics should be strengthened further to improve the overall quality and the value of the statistics. Most significantly this includes working closely with local authorities that are still unable to provide data to the new H-CLIC data specification, and improving local authority data quality, which is a key step to maximising the overall value of the statistics. The clarity of the statistics’ main messages for answering key questions on homelessness, as well as their strengths and limitations should also be improved, along with the accessibility of the current statistics package and website, to aid navigation by a broader range of users.
We judge that the Statutory Homelessness in England statistics can be designated as National Statistics once we have confirmed that the requirements set out in the report have been met. Addressing the requirements will demonstrate that your statistics meet the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality and public value and comply with the Code of Practice for Statistics. We have agreed that the team will meet the requirements by the next annual publication in Autumn 2022, and report back to us after each quarterly release outlining how they are making progress towards addressing the requirements.
I am copying this letter to Valerie Viloria, Lead Homelessness Statistician, DLUHC and Catherine Barham, Head of Housing Need, DLUHC.
Director General for Regulation