Statistics on housing and planning present information about many aspects of housing, homelessness, land valuations and planning. These are critical issues of high public interest where good statistics are vital to policy and service delivery. Responsibility for housing and planning policy is devolved across the UK.
This report presents findings from our Systemic Review exploring the public value of Statistics on Housing and Planning in the UK. Our review and its findings are focussed on the user perspective; we engaged with over 60 people including representatives from 43 organisations to inform our understanding of how these statistics meet the needs of users and how they can be improved.
We have identified a number of areas of good practice in statistical production across the UK as well as opportunities for improvements to the statistical landscape – not all of equal relevance to each of the UK countries. Firstly, improvements to statistical outputs would help shine a light on society’s evolving questions about housing and planning, centred around five key areas:
- creating more coherence across statistics publications to support an overarching narrative on key issues
- making statistics easier to find and use
- innovating to help fill gaps in insight
- increasing transparency by better describing statistical definitions, methods and limitations and the extent to which different statistics on similar themes are comparable with one another
- addressing concerns around the quality of some statistics
Secondly, more strategic coordination and collaboration between statistics producers across the UK, as well as greater engagement with users, should help drive improvements in outputs.
We will now engage with housing and planning statistics producers across the UK to determine how best to work with them to support these improvements. At a high level, we would like to see the housing and planning statistics system quickly establish a cross-producer group and means of engagement with a wide range of users.
* We retrospectively updated this report on 23 November 2017 to correct “new start dwelling” to “new dwelling starts”.