WISERD collaborates with Welsh Government to revolutionise the homelessness data infrastructure in Wales

Ian Thomas

Dr Ian Thomas, an Administrative Data Research Centre Wales Research Officer based at WISERD, will work with Welsh Government on a part-time basis for a year, introducing new expertise and capacity, with the primary focus of exploring the feasibility of introducing an individual level data collection, reporting and analysis in relation to homelessness in Wales.

CaCHE, the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence is a multidisciplinary partnership between academia, housing policy and practice. Over the course of the five-year programme, CaCHE researchers will produce evidence and new research which will contribute to tackling the UK’s housing problems at a national, devolved, regional and local level. WISERD researchers Dr Peter Mackie, Dr Scott Orford and Dr Bob Smith are leading Wales’ contribution to the centre.

This feasibility study is the first of an extensive programme of staff secondments being facilitated and funded through CaCHE, promoting mobility between the academy and policy and practice communities. Significantly, this project brings together several ESRC investments (CaCHE, WISERD, ADRN) and highlights the commitment of CaCHE and the Welsh Government to the potential of data linkage and to one of society’s most pressing and persistent challenges – homelessness.

Dr Peter Mackie, who leads the CaCHE regional hub in Wales and a collaborator in the project proposal explained: ‘For several years there have been discussions about making a radical shift towards individual – level data recording and reporting in relation to homelessness in Wales.

Homelessness remains a vitally important social and political priority in Wales, as evidenced by the recent National Assembly for Wales inquiry into rough sleeping and the introduction of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014’.