The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) Wales has launched a campaign for political parties to commit to expanding the evidence base for housing by introducing a Welsh Housing Survey (WHS).
The call comes as the Senedd is in the process of passing its fourth Bill affecting the private rented sector in six years without any comprehensive, government-commissioned data set for housing to support good policy making.
The landlord organisation argues that the long-running English Housing Survey (EHS), which has been in place for 53 years, is an aspirational model due to the volume of data it collects.
Adopting a similar model for Wales would allow for greater comparability and accountability between the nations, according to the NRLA.
The call for a survey has been backed by prominent housing bodies: the Chartered Institute for Housing, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors, Tai Pawb, and ARLA-Propertymark.
The campaign has also been backed by Homes for All Cymru, an alliance of housing and housing related organisations in Wales that includes Shelter and Crisis among their members.
A Welsh Housing Survey would collect a wealth of information such as data on the proportion of private rented sector tenancies ended by the tenant, the levels of satisfaction among social renters, and the percentage of owner-occupied homes that are under-occupied.
Wales currently builds data on housing through the National Survey for Wales and the Housing Conditions Evidence Programme. The NRLA says this falls far short of what a Welsh Housing Survey would deliver.
NRLA chief executive, Ben Beadle, commented: “We’re very pleased to launch our campaign for a Welsh Housing Survey – calling for better data collection so those operating in government and the housing sector are more informed when making policy.
“The fact we have secured the support of a wide range of organisations across Wales demonstrates the consensus that housing professionals and households alike recognise the need for government-commissioned, comprehensive data for housing.
“A Welsh Housing Survey would prove good value-for-money throughout and post-pandemic and will pay dividends in the information it can provide policymakers.
“We hope that these facts will prove to political parties the merits of our proposal and they will adopt it in their manifestos as they aim to form the next Welsh Government next spring.”