New reporting platform uses data to help address homelessness in UK
A new reporting platform which aims to give insight into the conditions required to prevent homelessness has been launched 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 the complicated issue of homelessness, the tool will help people to take a bird’s eye 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 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 which current evidence suggests have an impact on levels of homelessness.
In the past, data to measure the impact of homelessness has 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 into 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 Government.
No indicator set is ever ‘finished’ and the release of the platform is the beginning rather than the end of the conversation. There are gaps to fill, breakdowns to produce, and more accurate measures to find. CHI and ONS will continue to expand the evidence base to give experts the best possible chance of understanding all the factors which have an impact on homelessness.
Hugh Stickland, head of strategy and engagement at the ONS, said: “By working with specialised groups like the Centre for Homelessness Impact we are able to share knowledge and skills to create tools which can help policymakers make informed decisions which can have a real impact.
“Work is ongoing to develop these indicators with relevant statisticians from across government to make sure the best data is 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 Centre for Homelessness Impact’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 Centre for Homelessness Impact, said: “The goals and action areas in the dashboard provide a roadmap towards a future without homelessness. They will only be realised through collaboration between 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.”