My Department's Statistics and Data Analytics Unit (SDAU) recently collaborated with the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and ESB Networks to significantly enhance the production of statistics in the area of housing completions. In relation to other output statistics, the SDAU and the relevant business units work on the compilation of social housing output statistics using data supplied to my Department by the Local Authorities on a periodic basis. The production of quarterly output statistics involves a significant collaboration and reconciliation of data sources across a wide number of my Department's business units in order to produce statistics for publication in a timely fashion. The SDAU can, and will, engage with the CSO in respect of housing data on an ongoing basis and is represented on the CSO’s Housing Data Group; likewise, the CSO is represented on my Department’s Housing Data Analytics Group. This collaborative working arrangement is very beneficial to both organisations, particularly in respect of the transfer of knowledge and information.
As regards homelessness statistics, my Department currently publishes data on a monthly basis on the number of homeless persons accommodated in emergency accommodation funded and overseen by housing authorities. These reports are based on data provided by housing authorities, produced through the Pathway Accommodation & Support System (PASS). The reports are collated on a regional basis. While I have indicated the need to improve the current reporting system, and see great value in securing the advice and expertise of the CSO in that regard, there are no plans to transfer responsibility for the production of these reports to the CSO.