Following on from my previous letter of the 11th June 2018 regarding Code compliance checks undertaken on four of the departments housing statistical releases, I am now pleased to write to you to provide an update on the improvements we have made to our housing and planning statistics.
Since my previous correspondence the department’s housing and planning statisticians have worked with the GSS Good Practice Team and officials from the OSR. Their support has been incredibly helpful.
MHCLG statisticians have now published updated versions of the following statistical releases: Net Additional Dwellings, New Build Dwellings and Affordable Housing Supply.
Some of the key improvements in these releases include
- Adding in additional contextual information to the release text, and improving guidance on the relationships between these figures;
- Reviewing and updating supporting commentary and charts;
- Providing a clearer explanation and assessment of data quality, giving specific regard to the OSRs QAAD guidance; and
- Updating information on definitions and working with devolved administrations to provide more details of comparability.
Alongside the improvements to specific releases the department’s statisticians have also been working more broadly on improvements to housing and planning statistics including:
- Working closely with the ONS and across the devolved administrations as part of the Cross Government Housing Statistics User Group. This group has now published an action plan, developed several products for users and will be working on wider user engagement going forward;
- Publishing a one page guide to MHCLG housing statistics to accompany our bulletins; and
- Progressing in the actions outlined in the New Build Dwellings action plan to improve the quality and coverage of these statistics.
I attach an annex with this letter which goes into more details on the actions taken to improve both the statistical releases and housing and planning statistics more broadly.
I would like to thank you and your officials for their help and advice throughout this work.
Head of Profession for Statistics MHCLG
Mary Gregory to Sandra Tudor (February 2019)
Mary Gregory to Sandra Tudor (June 2018)
Systemic Review of Statistics on Housing and Planning (November 2017)