The primary objective of this, the 12th edition of the UK Housing Review (initially called the Housing Finance Review), remains simply
to draw together key current financial and related data about both public and private housing in the United Kingdom, and rapidly assemble them in
a coherent and accessible format.
To that end the Review draws on a wide range of Expenditure Plans and Departmental Reports, as well as statistical volumes, survey reports, and
other more occasional research reports. The Review also includes several tables constructed from databases that are not routinely published
The structure of the Review, and the sparse text, aim above all to provide a swift guide to that data.
Section 1: Contemporary issues is not included in the website version of the Review: but the four articles offering detailed analysis are available
in the printed version, which can be purchased from the CIH or CML.
The six chapters of Section 2: Commentary offer a brief introduction to, and discussion of, the key developments in policy, financial provision
and output, that are reflected in the tables and figures in the main Section 3: Compendium of tables. It also provides a reference to other publications
and data that provide further useful insights into current policy issues.
A longer perspective
Many of the tables in the Review provide data over a long time period. Wherever possible those tables start in 1970, providing data at five year
intervals for the years to 1990, and with annual data for more recent years. The precise range of the years covered varies slightly from table
to table, depending both on data availability, and the practicality of setting out data on a single screen. Even with its landscape format there
are limits to the number of years' data that the Review can fit on to a single page or screen.
Readers can consult earlier editions of the printed version of the Review for data for the individual years between 1981 and 1989 that are no longer
published in the current edition. However, readers should exercise care as in some cases data for those earlier years may have subsequently been
subject to revisions, primarily as a result of changes in definitions. A cross check of the data for those years still published in the current
edition of the Review will generally indicate whether or not this is an issue.
The Review contains several tables providing data for the regions of England. Many of those tables provide data for the long established 'standard
statistical regions'. Government statistics are, however, now being published primarily on the basis of 'government office regions'. This presents difficulties
in providing a consistent long run of regional data. In this period of transition, wherever possible current data for standard regions has been
sought, in order to provide a consistent data series. This has not always been possible. Equally, long back series of data for government office
regions are not generally available. In some cases, therefore, the Review includes recent data for government office regions, together with earlier
data for standard regions. This is clearly indicated in the tables concerned.
There has also been a recent change in the nomenclature of government office regions. The Eastern region is now known as the East of England,
and Yorkshire and Humberside is now known as Yorkshire and The Humber. In this year's Review the government office regions are generally shown
under their new names.However, the new names are not always used in our source documents or datasets, and we have followed the practice in the
latest editions of our sources, rather than impose a uniform usage.
The North West government office region now includes Merseyside, and on many cases separate figures for Merseyside are no longer available.
However, where Merseyside figures continue to be available these continue to be provided in the Review.
For some years the paper edition of the Review has been complemented by an interim update on the website of the Centre for Housing Policy at
the University of York.
This year, for the first time, the whole body of tables in the Review, together with the commentaries, are available on the University of York
website. The tables on the website will be revised in the spring of 2004, ahead of a wholesale updating later in the year.
Comments and suggestions
Finally, the editor would welcome any comments or suggestions on the current and future format and contents of the Review, and he can be contacted
by email, phone, fax or letter.