In this page
What are these statistics?
Statutory homelessness statistics provide summary information on local housing authorities’ activities under the homelessness legislation, introduced in the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, and collected through quarterly statistical returns. The statistics cover the prevention and relief of homelessness as well as information on the number of homeless households in temporary accommodation.
The information published refers to statutory homelessness only and does not include any information on ‘rough sleepers’. A national count of those sleeping rough has been carried out up to 2019 and the results are available in a statistical release and on StatsWales.
Policy and operational context
The main aim of the homelessness legislation is to reduce levels of homelessness by placing prevention at the centre of local authority duties to help everyone at risk rather than just those in priority need groups. The changes to statutory homelessness legislation arising from the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 were introduced on 27 April 2015 and replaced the previous statutory duties under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996.
Well-being of Future Generations Act
The Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015 is about improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of Wales. The Act puts in place seven wellbeing goals for Wales. These are for a more equal, prosperous, resilient, healthier and globally responsible Wales, with cohesive communities and a vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language. Under section (10)(1) of the Act, the Welsh Ministers must (a) publish indicators (“national indicators”) that must be applied for the purpose of measuring progress towards the achievement of the wellbeing goals, and (b) lay a copy of the national indicators before Senedd Cymru. Under section 10(8) of the Well-being of Future Generations Act, where the Welsh Ministers revise the national indicators, they must as soon as reasonably practicable (a) publish the indicators as revised and (b) lay a copy of them before the Senedd. These national indicators were laid before the Senedd in 2021. The indicators laid on 14 December 2021 replace the set laid on 16 March 2016.
Information on the indicators, along with narratives for each of the wellbeing goals and associated technical information is available in the Wellbeing of Wales report.
Further information on the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.
The statistics included in this release includes one of the national indicators namely indicator 34 ‘Number of households successfully prevented from becoming homeless, per 10,000 households’.
Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on this series
At the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in March 2020, the Welsh Government put in place an emergency homelessness response. This response involved additional funding, together with both statutory and non-statutory guidance to ensure that no-one was left without accommodation, together with the support they need, to stay safe during the pandemic.
To support this response, monthly management information relating to persons placed into temporary accommodation and rough sleepers has been collected from local authorities since August 2020. This management information replaces the weekly gathering of intelligence collected during the initial stages of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (from April 2020).
Since 2019-20, quarterly data on statutory homelessness has not been collected, and a reduced annual statutory homelessness return has been undertaken to reduce the overall data provision burden on local authorities. Details can be found in the Accuracy section below.
Users and uses
The data in this Statistical Release form the basis of evidence on statutory homelessness in Wales and are used by the Welsh Government, homelessness agencies and other housing organisations to monitor trends in the overall level of statutory homelessness across Wales. The information is used to monitor the effectiveness of current policy, particularly progress against the Ten Year Homelessness Plan for Wales, the Well-being of future generations: national indicators and for future policy development.
The data are also used for answering Senedd Questions, ministerial correspondence, Freedom of Information Act cases and queries from the public. Local housing authorities are both providers and users of the statistics and use the data extensively in order to plan services, allocate resources, monitor performance and benchmark against other authorities. There are a variety of users of these statistics including national and local government, researchers, academics and students. The voluntary sector also uses the statistics to monitor and evaluate housing policy and for campaigning and fundraising purposes.
Strengths and limitations of the data
- The information is processed and published regularly and in an ordered manner to enable users to see the statistics when they are current and of greatest interest.
- Outputs have a clear focus on Wales and have been developed to meet the internal and external user need in Wales.
- The data is derived from existing administrative systems within local authorities. We have regular and ongoing communication with the data providers, and have a broad understanding of their quality assurance processes.
- The data undergoes a thorough validation process within the Welsh Government, and queries are resolved in discussion with data providers.
- Detailed statistics are provided via our StatsWales website at local authority level.
- It is not possible to directly compare statutory homelessness statistics under the old and new legislation on homelessness (see Comparability section)
- There were a number of issues which impacted on the comparability, quality and accuracy of the data collected and published under the new legislation during both 2015-16 and 2016-17. Further detail is provided within the Accuracy section.
- Because of the devolved administrations and differing policy, there is less scope for direct UK comparisons (see ‘Coherence’ later in the document).
Data processing cycle
The figures in this statistical release are based on an annual statistical return completed by local authorities in Wales. The returns are based on management information local authorities maintain about their actions under the homelessness legislation in relation to those households who apply to the local authority for assistance with housing.
Local authorities are notified of the data collection exercise timetable in advance. This allows adequate time for local authorities to collate their information, and to raise any issues they may have.
Copies of the current statutory homelessness data collection forms are available.
Information is collected annually via Excel spreadsheets. These are downloaded from the Afon file transfer website which provides a secure method for users to submit data. There is guidance in the spreadsheet, which assists users on completing the form. The spreadsheets allow respondents to validate some data before sending the spreadsheet to the Welsh Government. Respondents are also given an opportunity to include contextual information where large changes have occurred. Examples of validation checks within the forms include cross checks with other relevant data tables and checks to ensure data is logically consistent.
Validation and verification
Individual local authorities are responsible for providing high quality data. The Welsh Government (WG) Data Collection Team are responsible for validating and undertaking reasonable checks on this data in order to ensure that the data meet the requirements for ‘National Statistics’. The WG Housing Statistics team are responsible for the quality assurance of the analysis in the outputs.
Once the homelessness data is submitted to the data collection team within the WG, it goes through further validation and verification checks, for example:
- common sense check for any missing/incorrect data without any explanation
- arithmetic consistency checks
- cross checks against the data for the previous year
- cross checks with other relevant data collections
- thorough tolerance checks
- verification that data outside of tolerances are actually correct
If there is a validation error, we contact the organisation and seek resolution. If we fail to get an answer within a reasonable timescale, we will use imputation to fix the error. We will then inform the organisation and explain to them how we have amended or imputed the data. The method of imputation and the affected data is highlighted in the ‘quality information’ section of the first release.
Following the introduction of new homelessness legislation and new data collection returns in April 2015, we have continued to work closely with local authority data providers and have carried out a number of measures aimed at resolving issues with their data reporting processes and improving the quality and accuracy of the data provided. This included the provision of improved and extended guidance, changes to the format and content of the data collection returns, training events and visits to individual local authorities to resolve specific issues. In addition, there was considerable correspondence/discussion between the WG Data Collection Team and the data providers over each of the data collection years since April 2015 to ensure that the data collected was as consistent and complete as possible.
Continued close working with both policy colleagues and local authority data providers throughout the 2016-17 data collection year ensured that the quality and accuracy issues experienced during the 2015-16 data collection year were improved. This resulted in the ending of the temporary national statistics de-designation in July 2017 following discussion with the Office for Statistics Regulation which is the regulatory arm of the UK Statistics Authority. Further information on the designation of national statistics is available.
We have continued to work closely with the local authority data providers to ensure that the information provided and published on statutory homelessness is accurate and of good quality.
We have liaised with all the local authority data providers to gain a better understanding of their quality assurance processes. The authorities’ processes are varied, usually dependent on the level of resource at their disposal. Basic checks appear to be carried out across the board including checking for missing information, the removal of duplicates, logical checking and independent checks undertaken by local authority colleagues. Some of the authorities have more complex IT systems in place, with in-built validation to ensure the data follows the legislation. Some local authorities have internal audits of their systems and data. In some of the larger authorities regular training sessions take place, reinforcing consistent decision making, and sharing of good practice with other authorities also takes place.
In some cases we have also gained a more thorough understanding of the systems and QA processes following visits to authorities and detailed discussions with the data providers. Examples include identifying good practice due to the LA IT system replicating and tracking the flow of the homelessness legislation exactly and allowing for the easy recording of outcomes. This best practice was subsequently passed on by WG to another authority where there was a recognised issue with the under reporting of outcomes as e result of poor communication between the authority’s IT department and the caseworkers.
Given the improvements made since first introduction (as outlined above), and the detailed validation and verification processes now in place, the Office for Statistics Regulation have agreed that the statutory homelessness data are sufficiently robust to meet the standards of National Statistics.
Once the data has been finalised, the release is compiled and the key points and commentary are drafted. The release is independently checked and a final sense check is carried out by the relevant statistician prior to publication on the website.
National Statistics status
The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics. National Statistics status means that statistics meet the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality and public value. All statistics should comply with all aspects of the Code of Practice for Statistics. They are awarded National Statistics status following an assessment by the UK Statistics Authority’s regulatory arm. The Authority considers whether the statistics meet the highest standards of Code compliance, including the value they add to public decisions and debate.
It is Welsh Government’s responsibility to maintain compliance with the standards expected of National Statistics. If we become concerned about whether these statistics are still meeting the appropriate standards, we will discuss any concerns with the Authority promptly.
National Statistics status can be removed at any point when the highest standards are not maintained, and reinstated when standards are restored.
The continued designation of these statistics as National Statistics was confirmed in March 2019 following a compliance check by the Office for Statistics Regulation. Since the latest review by the Office for Statistics Regulation, we have continued to comply with the Code of Practice for Statistics, and have made the following improvements:
- we have improved the commentary and data visualisation on the front page of the release, removing repetitive text and simplifying the language used.
- we have enhanced accessibility for users by adding direct hyperlinks to the relevant data cube on Stats Wales alongside the tables and charts within the release.
- within the quality report we have included more detail in relation to our knowledge of the quality assurance processes carried out by data providers and have also provided more detail in relation to overall responsibility for the quality management process.
- we have enhanced trustworthiness by reviewing and reducing pre-release access
Administrative data quality assurance
This release has been scored against the UK Statistics Authority Administrative Data Quality Assurance matrix. The matrix is the UK Statistics Authority regulatory standard for the quality assurance of administrative data. The Standard recognises the increasing role that administrative data are playing in the production of official statistics and clarifies what producers of official statistics should do to assure themselves of the quality of these data. The toolkit that supports it provides helpful guidance to statistical producers about the practices they can adopt to assure the quality of the data they receive, and sets out the standards for assessing statistics against the Code of Practice for Statistics.
We have assessed this release as follows:
- Operational context and administrative data collection (A2: Enhanced assurance): We provide information on the policy context within the statistical release, including a description of changes in legislation introduced in 2015 and the impact in terms of the quality and accuracy of the data (see section on Policy and Operational within this document and the Statistical Release for further information)
- Communication with data supply partners (A2: Enhanced assurance): We have established an effective mode of communication with our data suppliers (see section on Data Collection for a description of how we communicate with data providers)
- Quality assurance principles, standards and checks applied by data suppliers (A1: Basic Assurance): we have broad knowledge of data suppliers QA checks and published a description (see section on Validation and Verification for an outline of our understanding of data providers quality assurance checks).
- Producer’s quality assurance investigations and documentation (A2: Enhanced assurance): we provide information on our quality assurance checks and provide guidance on the strengths and limitations of the data (see section on Validation and Verification and statistical release).
We consider the statutory homelessness statistics to be of medium data quality concern and of medium public interest as there is wide user and media interest. We are confident that the scores are appropriate according to the toolkit, both in terms of the data quality concerns and public interest level.
We have established an on-going process of liaison with all the local authority data providers to gain a better understanding of their quality assurance processes. We have also obtained a more thorough knowledge of the systems and QA processes for some authorities following visits as outlined in the ‘Validation and Verification’ section above. Going forward we will continue to work closely with local authority data providers to encourage best practice and ensure the continual improvement in the accuracy and quality of the data provided.
Disclosure control and confidentiality
All data on statutory homelessness is transferred and held securely and steps are taken to ensure there is no risk of identifying individuals in the published data.
Disclosure control has been applied to the figures in this release and to accompanying data on StatsWales. All figures less than 3, and percentages based on less than 3 have been suppressed and shown as a ‘*’. All other figures are rounded independently to the nearest 3. As a result, there may be a difference between the sum of the constituent items and the total. All percentages quoted in this report were calculated using the unrounded data.
The degree to which the statistical product meets user needs for both coverage and content.
The data in this Statistical Release form the basis of evidence on statutory homelessness in Wales and are used by the Welsh Government, homelessness agencies and other housing organisations to monitor trends in the overall level of statutory homelessness across Wales. Other interests and uses of this data are outlined above.
The data in the ‘Homelessness in Wales’ statistical outputs covers statutory homelessness only. The information covers households applying to local authorities for housing assistance under the Housing Act (Wales) 2014 and does not include persons sleeping rough. We have added lines to the release to make this clear for end users and have included a link to the Information published on persons sleeping rough.
Following informal discussions with key stakeholders, between 4 March and 1 April 2015 a user consultation was conducted to ask for views on proposed changes to both the amount and frequency of information collected and published on statutory homelessness, in line with the changes to statutory homelessness legislation arising from the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.
We actively review all our outputs and welcome feedback.
The closeness between an estimated result and the (unknown) true value.
A number of factors impacted on the quality and accuracy of the data collected and published on statutory homeless during 2015-16, including:
- timing of the legislative changes
- recording of outcomes data (with the possibility of multiple outcomes for individuals)
- delays in the change over of IT reporting systems to cover the new legislation
A more detailed outline of these issues is available in section 2 of the 2015-16 release.
We worked closely with local authorities throughout 2015-16 to improve the quality of the data. However, there was a limit to the improvements that could be made retrospectively to the 2015-16 data and at the time of the release in August 2016 some concerns over the quality and accuracy of the data remained. In the light of these concerns over data quality a temporary de-designation of the Homelessness Statistics data for 2015-16 as National Statistics was agreed with the UK Statistics Authority.
We continued to work closely with both policy colleagues and local authority data providers throughout 2016-17. Information on the work undertaken and changes made to the data collection form are provided within Annex A of the 2016-17 release along with detail around quality and accuracy issues specific to the 2016-17 data collection year.
We are confident that the quality and accuracy issues experienced during the previous year have now been generally resolved. The temporary National Statistics de-designation came to an end in July 2017 following discussion with the Office for Statistics Regulation which is the regulatory arm of the UK Statistics Authority.
2017-18 and 2018-19 data
Throughout 2017-18 and 2018-19 we have continued to work closely with the local authority data providers to ensure that the information provided and published on statutory homelessness is consistent, accurate and of good quality. This has included providing extended guidance and instructions in relation to the reporting of Section 62 assessments and visiting a number of local authority data suppliers to resolve any specific issues with their data recording processes.
As no further additions or changes were made to the data collection forms for the 2018-19 collection year the data are fully comparable with 2016-17 and 2017-18. Please see ‘Validation and Verification’ section for further details.
As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a reduced annual statutory homelessness return was undertaken in 2019-20.
Specifically, information on household type, categories of priority need and reasons for loss of accommodation was not collected. Neither was information on age, sex and ethnicity of applicant collected.
2020-21 and 2021-2022
As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a reduced annual statutory homelessness return was continued for both 2020-21 and 2021-22. Whilst information on household type, categories of priority need and reasons for loss of accommodation was not collected in these years, information on age, sex and ethnicity of applicant was collected.
Revisions can arise from events such as late returns from a local authority or when a data supplier notifies the Welsh Government that they have submitted incorrect information and resubmits this. Occasionally, revisions can occur due to errors in our statistical processes. In these cases, a judgement is made as to whether the change is significant enough to publish a revised statistical release. Where changes are not deemed to be significant i.e. minor changes, these will be updated in the following year’s statistical release. However, minor amendments to the figures may be reflected in the StatsWales tables prior to that next release. Revised data is marked with an (r) in the statistical release. We also follow the Welsh Government’s statistical revisions policy, details of which are available online.
As part of the annual validation and quality control process, local authorities are asked to confirm all the data provided for previous quarters of that data collection year and where necessary revise any information previously provided
Timeliness and punctuality
Timeliness refers to the lapse of time between publication and the period to which the data refer. Punctuality refers to the time lag between the actual and planned dates of publication.
All outputs adhere to the Code of Practice for Statistics by pre-announcing the date of publication through the Upcoming pages on the Statistics for Wales website. Furthermore, should the need arise to postpone an output this would follow the Welsh Governments Revisions, Errors and Postponements arrangements.
We publish releases as soon as practical after the relevant time period. Annual data is published within four months of the end of the reference period.
Accessibility and clarity
Accessibility is the ease with which users are able to access the data, also reflecting the format(s) in which the data are available and the availability of supporting information. Clarity refers to the quality and sufficiency of the metadata, illustrations and accompanying advice.
Homelessness statistics for Wales are published in an accessible, orderly, pre-announced manner on the Welsh Government website at 9:30am on the day of publication.
An RSS feed alerts registered users to this publication and a tweet from @StatisticsWales alerts Twitter users to its release.
We aim to inform known key users of the publication of the statistics when they are published. Regular updates are provided to the Housing Information Group on published data.
All releases are available to download for free. More detailed data are also available at the same time on the StatsWales website and this can be manipulated online or downloaded into spreadsheets for use offline.
In our outputs, we aim to provide a balance of commentary, summary tables, charts and maps where relevant. The aim is to ‘tell the story’ in the output, without the bulletin or report becoming overly long.
We aim to use Plain English in our outputs and all outputs adhere to the Welsh Government accessibility policy. Furthermore, all our headlines are published in Welsh and English.
We regularly peer review our outputs internally.
Further information regarding the statistics can be obtained by contacting the relevant staff detailed on the release or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The degree to which data can be compared over time and domain
Comparisons with Old Legislation: It is not possible to directly compare the number of ‘homeless households’ collected under the current and previous legislations. The data collected under the previous legislation (Part VII of the Housing Act 1996) was based only on the final assessment decision made by local authorities on households who applied for assistance with housing. From April 2015 onwards, local authorities are required to record all the outcomes of assessments made about households who apply for assistance with housing and receive an assessment under Section 62 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014. It is possible for a single household to have up to three separate outcomes under this process depending on the outcomes of each duty within the legislation. Further information is provided in Section 2.1 of the Homelessness in Wales: 2015-16 statistical release. A paper outlining the legislative changes is available.
Comparisons with first year (2015-16) data: Care should be taken when comparing more recent homelessness data with data for 2015-16. This is due both to the data quality issues for 2015-16 and the additions and changes to the quarterly and annual returns for 2016-17. Information on changes made to the data collection form for 2016-17 are provided within the Annex to the 2016-17 release. References are provided within the Statistical Release where applicable. The data collection form remained unchanged for 2018-19 which has allowed direct comparisons to be made within the 2018-19 release with the data published for 2017-18 and 2016-17. From 2019-20 onwards, a reduced data set has been collected and so comparisons are not possible with earlier releases.
Comparisons with other parts of UK: There is similar information available from other parts of the UK, but the data is not directly comparable due to different legislative processes in each of the UK countries. See Coherence below.
The degree to which data that are derived from different sources or methods, but which refer to the same phenomenon, are similar.
Monthly homelessness accommodation provision and rough sleeping management information
Since August 2020, monthly management information relating to persons placed into temporary accommodation and rough sleepers has been collected from local authorities. This management information replaces the weekly gathering of intelligence collected during the initial stages of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (from April 2020).
It is important to note the following differences between the monthly management information and our publications on statutory homelessness:
- The monthly management information relates to the number of individuals experiencing homelessness and being supported by local authorities into emergency accommodation or suitable long-term accommodation.
- Our collections on statutory homelessness capture data on number of households, not individuals. That data relates to homelessness as defined by the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 (UK legislation).
On 8 November 2019, a one night snap shot count of rough sleepers was carried out across Wales. The results were published in a statistical release on 4 February 2020. No further rough sleeper counts have been carried out since and rough sleeper data is included in the monthly management information collection. For the monthly management information, local authorities are asked to base their estimates on local intelligence, rather than the methodology employed for the previous rough sleeper counts.
It is not relevant to try to directly compare rough sleeping figures with the statutory homelessness figures shown in this release as they are capturing different aspects of homelessness. Statutory homelessness figures do not include persons sleeping rough but cover information on the number of households applying to local authorities for housing assistance under the Housing Act (Wales) 2014 because they are homeless or threatened with homelessness. Some people who sleep rough may have been in contact with a local authority for assistance with housing either recently or in the past and some may not have.
Following the introduction of the monthly management information collection which includes data on rough sleepers, it was decided that a rough sleeper count would not be undertaken in November 2019 or November 2020.
Deaths of homeless people in England and Wales
On 1 December 2021, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published a statistical release detailing experimental statistics of the numbers of deaths of homeless people in England and Wales (Office for National Statistics). Figures were given for deaths registered in the years 2013 to 2020.
National Strategic Indicators
Prior to 2015-16, the National Strategic Indicators for local government collected information on homelessness prevention. The numerator for the indicator HHA/013 is the number of substantiated potentially homeless households. These figures will differ from those shown in this release which covers assessments made by local authorities on those households who apply to them for assistance with housing and are assessed under Section 62 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.
Statutory homelessness statistics for the other UK countries
During 2018, in order to address the problem of inconsistency and support users of homelessness statistics, the Government Statistical Service (GSS) Harmonisation Team explored the feasibility of harmonising the definitions of homelessness for official statistics across the UK. In February 2019 it published the Harmonisation of Definitions of Homelessness for UK Official Statistics: A Feasibility Report. This report concluded that it is not possible in the short term to develop a consistent definition of homelessness for UK official statistics, due to substantive differences in the administrative data systems and legal definitions of homelessness. The devolved nature of housing and homelessness legislation across the UK means that, definitions of homelessness vary. Data collection techniques for homelessness data have been designed to individually reflect the legislation in each country. Operational differences in collecting homelessness information results in differences in homelessness statistics across the four nations and currently there is insufficient guidance on how to compare the related statistics.
The report recommended that more comprehensive guidance on the processes and definitions of homelessness should be developed and used in each country's statistical publications. The GSS Harmonisation Team are currently working with UK producers of homelessness statistics to create consistent guidance for all four UK publications to be included in future statistical publications.
It also recommended creating a separate, more detailed stand-alone report on UK comparability of homelessness (Office for National Statistics) statistics which includes a conceptual framework for homelessness. The conceptual framework allows users to visualise the different definitions of homelessness currently being used for official statistics and how these fit together. This was published in September 2019.
Prior to April 2018, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) collected and published summary information on English local housing authorities’ activities under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 (as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002 and the Localism Act 2011) which places statutory duties on local housing authorities to provide assistance to people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government introduced a Homelessness Case Level Information Classification (H-CLIC) in April 2018 to coincide with the commencement of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.H-CLIC will collect case level data and provide more detailed information on the causes and effects of homelessness than has been collected in the past. The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 will place new legal duties on English councils so that everyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness will have access to meaningful help, irrespective of their priority need status, as long as they are eligible for assistance. The Act will amend part VII of the Housing Act 1996.
The most recent statutory homelessness statistics for England (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) are available.
The latest annual statutory homelessness statistics for Scotland (Scottish Government) are available from the Scottish Government statistics website. The Housing Support Services (Homelessness)(Scotland) Regulations 2012 came into force on 1st June 2013. These Regulations make provision in relation to the duty of Local Authorities to assess whether some persons found to be homeless or threatened with homelessness ("an applicant") need housing support services. Regulation 2 prescribes four types of housing support services which apply for the purposes of that duty. If a Local Authority has reason to believe that an applicant may be in need of one or more of these services, it must assess whether the applicant, or any person residing with the applicant, is in need of such support. If so, the Local Authority must ensure that the service is provided to the person who needs it. Data on applications and assessments are collected on a continuous case level electronic data capture system. Data are also collected on households in temporary accommodation at the end of each quarter as well as information on households at risk of homelessness as defined under Section 11 of the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003.
In Northern Ireland statistics on homelessness are sourced from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE). Under the Housing (NI) Order 1988, NIHE has a similar statutory responsibility to secure permanent accommodation for households who are unintentionally homeless and in priority need; to secure temporary accommodation in a variety of circumstances and to provide advice and assistance to those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. The most recent statutory homelessness statistics for Northern Ireland (Department for Communities Northern Ireland) are available.