In this page
1. What is this consultation about?
1.1 The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on a new Ending Homelessness Outcomes Framework (EHOF).
1.2 The broad purpose of an Outcomes Framework is to provide a structured approach to defining, measuring, and reporting the intended results of a programme, policy, or initiative. It involves identifying the desired outcomes or changes that a programme/policy/initiative aims to achieve, as well as the indicators or measures that will be used to track progress towards those outcomes.
1.3 The EHOF has been developed to provide a clear strategic direction for preventing and ending homelessness in Wales by identifying the desired long-term outcomes and illustrate progress towards achieving those outcomes over time.
1.4 Specifically, the EHOF has been designed to demonstrate the impact of, and progress against, the high-level actions set out in Welsh Government’s Ending Homelessness Action Plan, published in November 2021. See Section 2 Background for more information on the Action Plan.
1.5 The Welsh Government is inviting responses to the consultation questions, which will help inform the final Ending Homelessness Outcomes Framework.
2.1 Homelessness is where a person lacks accommodation, or where their tenure is not secure. Homelessness, or the risk of it, can have a devastating impact on individuals and families, affecting their physical and mental health and well-being, isolating them from their local communities and negatively impacting society.
2.2 The Welsh Government has a vision of a Wales where everyone has a safe home that meets their needs and supports a healthy, successful and prosperous life. A Wales where we work together to prevent homelessness and where it cannot be prevented, ensure that it is rare, brief and unrepeated.
2.3 It is recognised that housing alone cannot prevent homelessness or help us achieve this vision, and all public services and the third sector in Wales have a role to play in helping us to deliver this vision.
Programme for Government
2.4 Welsh Government’s updated Programme for Government 2021-2026 includes a commitment to Reform housing law and implement the Homelessness Action Group’s recommendation to fundamentally reform homelessness services to focus on prevention and rapid rehousing.
Ending Homelessness Action Plan
2.5 The development of a new Ending Homelessness Outcomes Framework is a key action (Action 13) in Welsh Government’s Ending Homelessness Action Plan, published in November 2021. The Ending Homelessness Action Plan aims to direct activity at a high-level for the work required by the Welsh Government and its partners to end homelessness in Wales. The Action Plan was informed by the 2019 Strategy for Preventing and Ending Homelessness and recommendations made by the expert Homelessness Action Group in its July 2020 report. This evolution is illustrated in Diagram 1 below:
Diagram 1: Development of the Ending Homelessness Outcomes Framework
3. What is the current position?
3.1 There is currently no existing Ending Homelessness Outcomes Framework in Wales. Wales is also the first UK nation to develop an Outcomes Framework for ending homelessness.
3.2 While the Welsh Government collects relevant data to monitor the extent of homelessness in Wales, through published Monthly Management Information and annual Statutory Homelessness statistics, there is no focused framework that collates the available data into an accessible format that focusses purely on the progress towards preventing and ending homelessness in Wales.
3.3 This new Ending Homelessness Outcomes Framework therefore aims to provide a clearer strategic direction for ending homelessness in Wales. It does this by identifying the desired long-term outcomes and illustrates progress towards achieving those outcomes over time, through proposed ‘data indicators’ which have been selected to measure progress against the proposed outcomes in the EHOF.
Development of the Ending Homelessness Outcomes Framework
3.4 In November 2021, under the remit of the EHNAB, Welsh Government established an Ending Homelessness Strategic Task & Finish Group to co-produce the new EHOF presented in this consultation. The group’s membership (see Annex A) comprised key external stakeholders, including members of the EHNAB and historic members of the Homelessness Action Group. Throughout its work, the Strategic Task & Finish Group provided updates to the EHNAB on the key development stages of the EHOF.
3.5 Since its establishment, the Task & Finish Group has provided a forum for members to debate and agree the desired long-term outcomes for the people of Wales. This consideration has been informed by the key themes, policy principles and agreed actions - as defined in the Ending Homelessness Action Plan - that are needed across homelessness and housing services, the third sector and across wider public services in Wales to end homelessness.
3.6 In parallel, the proposed detailed outcomes have been tested with two other Task & Finish groups which also report to the EHNAB:
- The Rapid Rehousing Task and Finish Group has advised on development of Strategic Outcome 2: Brief.
- The Workforce Task and Finish Group has advised on development of Strategic Outcome 4: Workforce
3.7 The Ending Homelessness Strategic Task & Finish Group has also been responsible for identifying a range of measures – or ‘data indicators’ – against each proposed detailed outcome. A proposed ‘long list’ of data indicators was suggested by members which has subsequently been refined by Welsh Government policy officials, working closely with statistical colleagues. Consideration has also been given to the availability of existing data sources and feasibility of future data collections, to ensure that the proposed ‘data indicators’ accurately inform and measure progress against each detailed outcome.
Key principles for the Ending Homelessness Outcomes Framework
3.8 The following key principles have been adopted by the Task & Finish Group to inform development of the EHOF.
The identified outcomes should be:
- Aligned with the key themes of the Ending Homelessness Action Plan
- Grouped into ‘Strategic’ overarching outcomes underpinned by detailed outcomes
- Long-term or ‘ultimate’ desired outcomes for the people of Wales
- Plain and simple in their language and framed positively
The ‘data indicators’ should be:
- Focussed and specific to ensure we are measuring the most important aspects of homelessness to understand the progress being made against each detailed outcome
- Proportionate in their volume, to reflect the level of complexity in measuring a detailed outcome
- Drawn from robust data sources where possible, such as official statistics or management information
- Based on existing data measures where possible, but can also be identified as aspirational data measures to be collected in the future where they are not yet available
4. How will the Outcomes Framework be used?
4.1 Subject to the consultation responses, we aim to publish the final Ending Homelessness Outcomes Framework in Winter 2023 alongside our response to this consultation.
4.2 We propose to implement the Outcomes Framework from early 2024 through publication of a ‘baseline’ report to reflect the final agreed ‘data indicators’ that are currently collected.
4.3 Beyond that point, we intend to publish an update against the ‘baseline’ report annually to measure progress towards achieving the detailed outcomes.
Review and Future Development
4.4 This Ending Homelessness Outcomes Framework will provide a clear narrative of where we have made progress towards achieving the identified long-term outcomes. It will therefore inform future policy proposals and allow us to identify and address areas where there is no data currently collected.
4.5 As such, the EHOF will continue to evolve over time, to ensure it is relevant and responsive to the environment we operate in and the data available. The EHOF will be reviewed following the forthcoming policy and legislative reform in lines with the Programme for Government 2021-2026 commitment, to ensure our outcomes remain relevant to evidence our progress towards ending homelessness across Wales.
5. The proposed Ending Homelessness Outcomes Framework
Ending Homelessness Outcomes Framework concept
5.1 Given the breadth of the Ending Homelessness Action Plan, and the wide range of desired outcomes in our overall, long-term, aim end homelessness in Wales, the Outcomes Framework presented in this consultation is structured as follows:
- Strategic Outcomes – To set out the broad overarching outcomes that align with key themes of the Ending Homelessness Action Plan.
- Detailed Outcomes – Each Strategic Outcome is underpinned by a range of detailed outcomes to define the specific outcomes desired for the people of Wales.
- Data indicators – Each detailed outcome has at least one proposed ‘data indicator’ that has been identified as a way to measure progress over time in achieving an outcome.
This approach is illustrated in Diagram 2.
Diagram 2: Conceptual approach to developing the Ending Homelessness Outcomes Framework
5.2 Given the importance of ensuring the Ending Homelessness Outcome Framework is fit for purpose and captures the key long-term outcomes in our overall aim to end homelessness in Wales, the full Ending Homelessness Outcomes Framework is published alongside this consultation document. It sets out the Strategic Outcomes and the detailed outcomes that underpin each Strategic Outcome. It also presents the proposed ‘data indicators’ which have been selected to measure progress over time towards achieving each detailed outcome. That document should be read alongside this consultation document.
5.3 Your views are sought on this proposed Ending Homelessness Outcome Framework. The Framework should be considered as a whole, but we also welcome your views on each of the individual Strategic Outcomes proposed (consultation question 1), and the detailed outcomes for each (consultation questions 2 a), b) and c). Where relevant, specific questions have been asked about the proposed ‘data indicators’.
5.4 The next section presents the consultation questions, alongside the rationale for why the proposed Strategic Outcomes have been identified. It also sets out why each detailed outcome has been identified for each Strategic Outcome.