House Condition Survey user engagement

Northern Ireland House Condition Survey update: May 2022

The commencement of the fieldwork for the NI House Condition Survey (NIHCS) is under review due to the ongoing risks to health, and to data quality issues related to the pandemic.

Although restrictions have now eased, the pandemic continues to have an effect on research, particularly where surveys take place in the homes of participants. This is case for the NIHCS, which involves surveyors spending approximately 1 hour in each home in order to complete a technical inspection and a face-to-face interview.

We will continue to monitor and review the situation, and as part of this process we will undertake a pilot survey during the summer of 2022. This will help us to assess the willingness of householders to take part in face-to-face research, and to explore the possibility of using alternative methods of data collection. The findings of the pilot survey will be used when planning for the next NIHCS.

We will provide updates on the pilot survey and the timing of the next NIHCS when available.

If you have any queries please contact the NIHCS team at: nihcs@nihe.gov.uk

Modelled statistics

Following the postponement of the NIHCS in 2021, we consulted with users to identify requirements for key statistics which could be modelled using data from the 2016 NIHCS.

The statistics requested by users were:

  • Fuel poverty indicator: 2019 and 2020
  • Energy consumption tables
  • Heat loss parameter variable, and factors which influence the heat loss parameter

Fuel poverty indicator: update for users 07/03/22
In order to calculate the fuel poverty estimates, the modelling process uses a series of assumptions based on available data. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the data for 2020 relating to household income, fuel prices, energy efficiency improvements and the change in household make-up (re-grouping or bubbling) were not available through external sources or datasets.

Therefore at this time, it is not possible to produce a robust fuel poverty figure for 2020. We will revisit this at a later date.

The 2019 fuel poverty estimates report was published on 22nd March 2022. Work on the remaining modelling is ongoing. We will provide further updates when publication dates have been announced.

House Condition Survey User Engagement

Regular user engagement enhances the value of House Condition Survey statistics and a House Condition Survey User Engagement Group was therefore set up to facilitate the Housing Executive in providing information to, and gathering feedback from, key users of House Condition Survey statistics.

The group meets approximately once a quarter. If you would like to become a member of the House Condition Survey User Engagement Group please contact Donna McLarnon by e-mailing donna.mclarnon@nihe.gov.uk, or telephone 028 95982547.

About the User Engagement Group

You can find out more about the User Engagement Group here:

Terms of reference for the House Condition Survey User Engagement Group (PDF 77 kB)

Minutes of the House Condition Survey User Engagement Group meetings

You can download minutes from previous User Engagement group meetings here:

Insight housing market intelligence exchange

The Housing Executive holds Insight events twice a year, allowing senior staff from across the housing sector to engage in discussion and debate, and provide feedback on their views about the critical and emerging issues facing the housing sector in Northern Ireland.

Following Insight events, briefings summarising the information that was shared and the discussions that took place are published on the Housing Executive’s website.

In October 2018 the event focused on the key findings of the 2016 House Condition Survey, and the summary report was launched. 

The March 2019 event covered a wide range of housing issues, including a presentation from Building Research Establishment (BRE) on the cost to improve energy efficiency in Northern Ireland. The costs were estimated using data from the 2016 House Condition Survey.

Fuel poverty workshop

On 21 May 2019 we held 2 workshops for users of the Northern Ireland fuel poverty statistics which are produced as part of the NIHCS. Each workshop comprised 3 presentations by the Building Research Establishment (BRE): Measuring and estimating fuel poverty, Fuel poverty ready reckoner and 2017 & 2018 estimates of fuel poverty.

Following the workshops, delegates were invited to complete an online feedback survey. The results will be used to help the Housing Executive plan future workshops and events.

You can download the slides and the key discussion points from the event below:


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Energy efficiency and sustainability
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