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Written Statement - Major new data collection on housing conditions in Wales  

Carl Sargeant, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children and Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs
We are pleased to provide an update to Assembly Members on plans to invest in improved data on housing conditions and the energy efficiency of homes in Wales. 

Quality homes are crucial to people’s well-being.  We all know poor living conditions affect a person’s physical and mental health as well as their ability to prosper, with poor energy efficiency affecting their ability to maintain a warm home, and the  wider need to meet carbon reduction targets and tackle climate change.  Lack of adequate housing can impact adversely on an areas’ ability to attract investment and employment opportunities. It is also a barrier to building resilient, cohesive communities which meet the needs of all, including children.  

Our new well- being objectives reflect the importance of meeting these challenges and requires effective, well-targeted policies, programmes and funding streams across the Welsh Government based on sound, robust and timely data and evidence.  With investment of £1.8m over the next three years, this new data collection programme will ensure we are in a position to do that.  The programme will integrate with our National Survey, underpin the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation and help validate our work on energy efficiency and decarbonisation.  The three year programme will include:
  • a survey of housing conditions across Wales in  2017-18;   
  • modelling and analysis work on housing conditions and fuel poverty  
  • the development and maintenance of a ‘dwelling spine’, which will bring together existing anonymised data from a wide range of sources about housing in Wales, in order to provide a sound evidence base for decision making.  There are also plans to link to other major data developments, including those in the Office for National Statistics.
The development and delivery of this important programme will be done in conjunction with external stakeholders and they too will be able to use the data to inform their work.  The improved data will underpin two of the Well-being of Future Generations National Indicators (homes free from hazards and homes with adequate energy efficiency measures) and, therefore, will contribute to the wider monitoring of our progress as a nation against the Well-being Goals. 

An overview of the Housing Conditions Evidence Programme has been published on the Welsh Government website and updates will be provided through the portal at regular intervals.