Current and future considerations
During the delivery period for this strategy we are anticipating some major changes in legislation and housing policy, which we will need to incorporate into our work.
There will be increased focus on building safety, particularly in relation to the council’s own housing stock. New legislation and regulation is anticipated in the next 18 months which mean that we will have additional responsibilities especially for complex and high risk buildings.
A welcome change in regulatory oversight and a new inspection regime from the social housing regulator will mean that as a landlord we will be expected to show how we are listening to our tenants and delivering on their priorities. The Housing Ombudsman also has greater powers to ensure redress for poor service.
Anticipated changes to planning law and guidance will introduce new approaches to planning and zoning, with a broader range of affordable home ownership tenures expected, including First Homes, for which evidence of demand is not yet clear, and which may impact on site viability for other affordable housing tenures.
Feedback from our consultation included concerns about First Homes and their potential to reduce genuinely affordable housing delivery, and this is an issue we will be monitoring so we can implement local policies to minimise negative affects.
BLMK integrated care system
The establishment of an integrated care system for the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes area in July 2022 provides opportunities for improved liaison between health, social care and housing systems. The strategic priorities they have targeted are: Start Well; Live Well; Age Well, Growth and Reducing Inequalities. Housing contributes to all these priority areas, so Luton Council will be a close partner in supporting the aims of the ICS.
Domestic Abuse Act implementation
The introduction of the Domestic Abuse Act in 2020 requires some changes in terms of how we support victims of domestic abuse, and work with perpetrators. The council is working towards DAHA accreditation from the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance.
Care leavers are entitled to support to the age of 25 years old, with implications for independent housing options.
Social care white paper
The government has recognised the importance of housing and accommodation settings in supporting wellbeing for people accessing social care. Changes to strategic work, extension of assistive technology and changes to the delivery of Disabled Facilities Grants have been announced with further changes expected to follow to deliver improvements.
Integration white paper
The Integration White Paper was published in February 2022 and sets out an ambition for better integration across:
- primary care
- community health
- adult social care
- acute care
- mental health
- public health
- housing services
It proposes shared outcomes across agencies, and integrated leadership, finance and accountability.