Office for National Statistics
New tool uses data to help address homelessness in UK
A new tool that aims to give insight into the conditions required to tackle homelessness has been launched today by the Centre for Homelessness Impact (CHI) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Bringing together data relating to the wide range of factors that have an impact on homelessness, the tool will help people to take a broad view and address the root causes of the problem, not just the symptoms. It will also allow policymakers and charities to measure the country's progress towards preventing homelessness at a population level.
The reporting platform shares over 30 homelessness indicators, covering a wide range of subjects from local authority homelessness applications through to house building and public attitudes. As a rich and varied framework of data, it provides a systems perspective of the complex factors that current evidence suggests have an impact on levels of homelessness.
In the past, data to measure the impact of homelessness have been hard to keep track of, with many different measures being used across different devolved governments and other organisations. The new framework of indicators brings this data in to one place, making it easier for effective decisions to be made. The tool is designed to complement the existing range of official statistics produced across the government.
The CHI and ONS will continue to expand the evidence base to give experts the best possible chance of understanding all the factors that have an impact on homelessness.
Hugh Stickland, Head of Strategy and Engagement at the ONS, said: "Homelessness remains one of the most pressing issues that policymakers face, and a clear understanding of its causes is hampered by a lack of data. With this project, we aim to find and gather this data to create better statistics that can help to tackle homelessness.
"By working with specialised groups like the CHI, we are able to share knowledge and skills to create tools that can help policymakers make informed decisions that can have a real impact.
"Work is ongoing to develop these indicators with relevant statisticians from across government to make sure the best data are included and that we are working towards tackling data gaps. These indicators also highlight areas where information is not comparable across different governments, and we are looking to improve understanding in this complex area."
The indicators are based on goals from the CHI's SHARE Framework, which suggests a range of principles for how preventing and ending homelessness should be framed and assessed based on current evidence.
Dr Ligia Teixeira, Chief Executive of the CHI, said: "The goals and action areas in the reporting platform provide a roadmap towards a future without homelessness. They will only be realised through collaboration between the government and civil society to solve one of the most complex social problems of our time.
"I am delighted to see the result of this joint effort and hope that, by increasing the transparency and usability of data relevant to preventing homelessness, the dashboard will help support ongoing efforts to transform results right across the UK."
You can explore the new reporting platform on the CHI website.
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