February 13, 2020

Measuring what matters: introducing a new set of homelessness indicators

Dr Lígia Teixeira

To be confident we are working towards ending homelessness, rather than just managing the problem, we must ensure our efforts and resources are focused on what really matters. 18 months ago we introduced the SHARE framework to help guide ongoing efforts in each UK nation. Today, in collaboration with the Office for National Statistics (ONS), we release the second iteration of the framework, which now includes a set of measures and accompanying online platform to help us track progress towards ending homelessness for good. 

The framework provides a common vision and identifies five action areas that span a whole system-level view of homelessness and its causes:  

Smart policy

Design smart policies and programmes

Housing system

Create a housing system that leaves no one behind

All in it together

Make ending homelessness a shared priority


Connect people with place and each other

Ecosystem of services

Grow a person-centred ecosystem of services

We have drawn on current literature, a large online and in person consultation and existing data to identify a suite of goals and indicators for each of the five action areas and to create the reporting platform.  

By bringing together all the relevant data into one place, the platform provides a bird’s-eye view of the issue, and will help people creating the conditions to allow homelessness to be prevented or otherwise make it brief, rare and non-recurring.


We joined forces with the ONS on this initiative because of their expertise in producing indicator sets for social policy challenges. The flagship ONS indicator frameworks ‘National Well-being’ and ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ achieved international commendation from governments and civil society. The same internationally recognised best practice has been drawn on for this initiative. 

But the release of the platform marks the beginning, rather than the end of this collaboration. We learn by doing so the current version is in BETA mode; it uses all of the data and measures that are currently available and highlights significant gaps in certain areas. Over the coming months we will work to fill in these gaps and release updates when they become available. We also want to expand the indicator set to include local level data and find the earliest and strongest examples of the online platform being used to improve results. 

To learn more about the initiative, please read the report and this blog by our colleagues at the ONS. We also want to learn from you. Please use the platform and send any comments on usability or potential data sources at 

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