HBF Wales housing crisis

HBF Wales housing crisis

A new report reveals Wales could face a housing crisis equal to or greater than in England unless urgent action is taken now.

A major new report reveals Wales is set to suffer a housing crisis even more acute than in the rest of the UK.

The report reveals:

· Wales has the oldest housing stock of any Western European nation, much of which is in very poor condition

· rates of housebuilding are so low that today’s new homes will have to last more than 2,000 years before their turn for replacement

· the backlog of unmet housing need has already reached 33,000, whilst four per cent too few homes are being built each year to meet the projected growth in the number of households

· real needs are probably much greater when accounting for areas of low demand resulting from deteriorating or derelict stock

The report ‘Building Success: The economic role of new housing in Wales’ follows the HBF’s highly influential report of 2002, ‘Building a Crisis’, which outlined the scale of England’s housing undersupply and compelled the government to put housing at the top of its agenda.

The treasury and the office of the deputy prime minister have now accepted there is a housing crisis in England and the planning system is undergoing major reform to increase housing provision in the south and regenerate communities in the Midlands and the north.

However, rocketing house prices in Wales strongly suggested it was beginning to experience similar problems to the rest of the UK. This report, the first of its kind, confirms those fears.
Robert Ashmead, chief executive of the House Builders Federation, said: “All the signs are that, without effective action taken now, Wales is heading for a housing crisis equal to or possibly worse than in the rest of the UK.

“In addition, it faces extra problems of having an exceptionally old housing stock, much of which is in such poor condition that it is close to being unmarketable. This prompts outward migration and the ensuing economic and social decline of once thriving communities.

“We are urging the Welsh Assembly that unless urgent action is taken, the country’s housing crisis will have severe consequences on the future growth and prosperity of the country as a whole.

“The assembly’s aspiration is that within a generation, the standard of living in Wales will match that of the UK as a whole, whilst over the next decade the target is to raise per capita Gross Domestic Product from 80% to 90% of the UK average. Addressing the housing crisis is fundamental to achieving these goals.”

Specific recommendations to the assembly, include:

· to adopt a formal policy position recognising the need for adequate new housing provision

· to formulate a housing strategy to cater for areas of economic growth and to tackle areas of low demand

· to monitor housing completions to ensure regional housing targets are met

· to ensure that a broad mix of house types are provided to meet all forms of demand

The report reveals that more than one-third of Welsh homes are pre-1919 with a further 12% built between the First and Second World Wars. A study in 1998 estimated 8.5% of the Welsh housing stock was classified as “unfit” with a total repair bill of more than Ł1 billion.

Results from the 2001 census show a vacancy rate of 1 in 25 with another 1 in 100 classified as second homes.

Ashmead added: “In numerical terms alone, the undersupply of housing in Wales is not yet as acute as in England but when the age and condition of the stock is taken into account, the crisis is perhaps even more serious than across the border.”


Editors’ Notes

The report ‘Building Success: The economic role Of new housing In Wales’ will be launched at an all-day conference shared with The Bevan Foundation on Tuesday 20 January 2004 at the Heritage Park Hotel, Trehafod, Pontypridd. Huw Lewis, deputy minister for communities, will be speaking at the conference.

Public Zone

Public Zone
HBF fights hard for the rights of the homebuyer. With housebuilding at its lowest level since the First World War, due to a restrictive planning regime, HBF has led the way in challenging Government to make a its aim of a “decent home for all” a reality.

HBF also works to ensure our members are allowed to build the types of home you, the homebuyer, wants to live in. We are at the forefront of all major housing issues, from improving the design and energy-efficiency of new homes to ensuring new home buyers receive the best service and consumer protection.

The green initiative

HBF has for 15 years organised the greenleaf awards in conjunction with the Daily Mail and key partners. Developments that are awarded are some of the best examples of the role that the landscape plays in successful new housing and clearly show that the developer has taken the time to consider the landscape when building a new home.

To follow on from this the greenleaf standard was launched in May 2002 to enable developers to register their commitment to the greenleaf principles at pre construction stage, so that the site will then go on to be entered for a greenleaf award three years after it has been completed. If you have seen sites with the greenleaf standard flag flying then the site in question is part of the initiative.

The greenleaf standard is managed by both NHMB and Zurich dependent on who the warranty provider is for the site and inspectors go round on a regular basis to ensure that the site is maintaining the standards expected by the greenleaf standard.





Telecommunication is the technique of transmitting a message, from one point or place to another with the typical additional attribute of being bi-directional. In practice it also recognizes that something may be lost in the process; hence the term ‘telecommunication’ covers all forms of distance communications, including radio, telegraphy, television, telephony, data communication and computer networking.

The elements of a telecommunication system are a transmitter, a medium (line) and possibly a channel imposed upon the medium (see baseband and broadband as well as multiplexing), and a receiver. The transmitter is a device that transforms or encodes the message into a physical phenomenon; the signal. The transmission medium, by its physical nature, is likely to modify or degrade the signal on its path from the transmitter to the receiver. The receiver has a decoding mechanism capable of recovering the message within certain limits of signal degradation. In some cases, the final “receiver” is the human eye and/or ear (or in some extreme cases other sense organs) and the recovery of the message is done by the brain (see psychoacoustics.)

Telecommunication can be point-to-point, point-to-multipoint or broadcasting, which is a particular form of point-to-multipoint that goes only from the transmitter to the receivers.

The art of the telecommunications engineer is to analyse the physical properties of the line or transmission medium, and the statistical properties of the message in order to design the most effective encoding and decoding mechanisms.

When systems are designed to communicate through human sense organs (mainly vision and hearing), physiological and psychological characteristics of human perception will be taken into account. This has important economic implications and engineers will research what defects may be tolerated in the signal yet not affect the viewing or hearing experience too badly.

Table of contents
1 Examples of Human (tele)communications
2 Other Background
3 Examples
4 See also
5 External link

Examples of Human (tele)communications

In a simplistic example, take a normal conversation between you and a friend. The message is the sentence your mind decides to communicate to your friend. The transmitter is the language areas in your brain, the motor cortex, your vocal cords, the larynx, and your mouth that produce those sounds called speech. The signal is the sound waves that can be identified as speech. The channel is the air carrying those sound waves, and all the acoustic properties of the space you are in: echoes, ambient noise, reverberation. Between you and your friend (the receiver), may be other technologies that do or do not introduce their own distortions of the original vocal signal (e.g. telephone, HAM radio, IP phone, etc.) The penultimate receiver is your friend’s ear, the auditory nerve, the language areas in your friend’s brain that will make the difference between your voice and the sound of a car passing by, and decode your speech into, hopefully, the same sentence.

The car passing by is an example of an important property of the channel called noise. Another important aspect of the channel is called the bandwidth, and you would become very aware of the effects of a limited bandwidth if you were now talking to your friend on a telephone or a walkie-talkie.

Other Background

Bell Labs scientist Claude E. Shannon published A Mathematical Theory of Communication in 1948. This landmark publication was to set the mathematical models used to describe communication systems called information theory. Information theory enables us to evaluate the capacity of a communication channelaccording to its bandwidth and signal-to-noise ratio.

At the time of publication, telecommunication systems were predominantly based on analog electronic circuit design. The introduction of mass-produced digital integrated circuits has enabled telecom engineers to take full advantage of information theory. From the demands of telecom circuitry, a whole specialist area of integrated circuit design has emerged called digital signal processing.

Possible imperfections in a communication channel are: shot noise, thermal noise, latency, non-linear channel transfer function, sudden signal drops, bandwidthlimitations, signal reflections (echos). More recent telecommunications systems take advantage of some of these imperfections to actually improve the quality of the channel.

Modern telecommunication systems make extensive use of time synchronization. There is a link between the development of telecommunications and very fine-grained (microsecond) time-keeping technology. Until the recent rise of the use of IP Telephony, most modern, wide-area telecommunications systems were synchronised to atomic clocks, or to secondary clocks synchronised to atomic time.

See modulation for examples of techniques for encoding information into analog signals.


Examples of digital channel coding systems: Hamming coding, Gray coding, Binary coding, Turbo coding.

Examples of telecommunications systems:

  • Semaphore
  • Telegraphy
  • Radioteletype
  • the global telephone network (also known as the Public Switched Telephone Network or PSTN)
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Communications satellites
  • Ethernet
  • the Internet

See also

  • ITU
  • Federal Standard 1037C for a glossary of telecommuncations terms.
  • Public utility.
  • Lists of public utilities.

External link

  • Ericsson’s Understanding Telecommunications

Encyclopedia Entry for statistics

Encyclopedia Entry for statistics


Statistics is the science and practice of developing human knowledge through the use of empirical data. It is based soundly on statistical theory which is a branch of applied mathematics. Within statistical theory, randomness and uncertainty are modelled by probability theory. Statistical practice includes the planning, summarizing, and interpreting of uncertain observations. Because the aim of statistics is to produce the “best” information from available data, some authors make statistics a branch of decision theory.

Table of contents

1 Origin
2 Statistical methods
3 Probability
4 Specialized disciplines
5 See also
6 References
7 External links



The word statistics comes from the modern Latin phrase statisticum collegium (lecture about state affairs), from which came the Italian word statista, which means “statesman” or “politician” (compare to status) and the German Statistik, originally designating the analysis of data about the state. It acquired the meaning of the collection and classification of data generally in the early nineteenth century. The collection of data about states and localities continues, largely through national and international statistical services; in particular, censuses provide regular information about the population.


Statistical methods

We describe our knowledge (and ignorance) mathematically and attempt to learn more from whatever we can observe. This requires us to


  1. plan our observations to control their variability (experiment design),
  2. summarize a collection of observations to feature their commonality by suppressing details (descriptive statistics), and
  3. reach consensus about what the observations tell us about the world we observe (statistical inference).

In some forms of descriptive statistics, notably data mining, the second and third of these steps become so prominent that the first step (planning) appears to become less important. In these disciplines, data often are collected outside the control of the person doing the analysis, and the result of the analysis may be more an operational model than a consensus report about the world.



The probability of an event is often defined as a number between one and zero. In reality however there is virtually nothing that has a probability of 1 or 0. You could say that the sun will certainly rise in the morning, but what if an extremely unlikely event destroys the sun? What if there is a nuclear war and the sky is covered in ash and smoke?

We often round the probability of such things up or down because they are so likely or unlikely to occur, that it’s easier to recognise them as a probability of one or zero.

However, this can often lead to misunderstandings and dangerous behaviour, because people are unable to distinguish between, e.g., a probability of 10-4 and a probability of 10-9, despite the very practical difference between them. If you expect to cross the road about 105 or 106 times in your life, then reducing your risk of being run over per road crossing to 10-9 will make you safe for your whole life, while a risk per road crossing of 10-4 will make it very likely that you will have an accident, despite the intuitive feeling that 0.01% is a very small risk.

Use of prior probabilities of 0 (or 1) causes problems in Bayesian statistics, since the posterior distribution is then forced to be 0 (or 1) as well. In other words, the data is not taken into account at all! As Lindley puts it, if a coherent Bayesian attaches a prior probability of zero to the hypothesis that the Moon is made of green cheese, then even whole armies of astronauts coming back bearing green cheese cannot convince him. Lindley advocates never using prior probabilities of 0 or 1. He calls it Cromwell’s Rule, from a letter Oliver Cromwell wrote to the synod of the Church of Scotland on August 5th, 1650 in which he said “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, consider it possible that you are mistaken.”


Specialized disciplines

Some sciences use applied statistics so extensively that they have specialized terminology. These disciplines include:

  • Biostatistics
  • Business statistics
  • Economic statistics
  • Engineering statistics
  • Statistical physics
  • Demography
  • Psychological statistics
  • Social statistics (for all the social sciences)
  • Process analysis and Chemometrics (for analysis of data from analytical chemistry and chemical engineering)
  • Reliability engineering

Statistics form a key basis tool in business and manufacturing as well. It is used to understand measurement systems variability, control processes (as in statistical process control or SPC), for summarizing data, and to make data-driven decisions. In these roles it is a key tool, and perhaps the only reliable tool.


See also



  • Analysis of variance (ANOVA)
  • Extreme value theory
  • regression analysis
  • List of academic statistical associations
  • List of national and international statistical services
  • List of statistical topics
  • List of statisticians
  • Machine learning
  • Multivariate statistics
  • Statistical phenomena
  • List of publications in statistics



Lindley, D. Making Decisions. John Wiley. Second Edition 1985. ISBN 0471908088


External links



  • Root Analysis Framework from CERN (Histogramms, Fits, …)
  • The R Project for Statistical Computing
  • Statistics resources
  • The Probability Web
  • Virtual Laboratories in Probability and Statistics
  • Statistics resources and calculators.
  • Data, Software and News from the Statistics Community.
  • Resources for Teaching and Learning about Probability and Statistics. ERIC Digest.
  • Resampling: A Marriage of Computers and Statistics. ERIC/TM Digest.
  • International Statistical Institute
  • Free Statistical Software
  • Free Statistical Tools on the WEB
  • The Probability of Co-incidence
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