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Luton Borough Council

Local context



  • 225,300 residents in the town in 78,900 households.
  • Super diverse town – 55% non White Brisish.
  • One of the youngest populations in the country – 29% of residents under 20.
  • Over 65 population grew by 11% between 2011 and 2021.


  • The median house price in increased by 18% in the past two years.
  • The median house price is 5 times the median gross annual earnings for residents.
  • 29% of homes are rented privately, twice the amount of social housing in the town.
  • Luton has the highest temporary accommodation use of comparable councils – 69 in every 1000 households.

 Domestic buildings

  • Domestic buildings account for 29% of carbon emissions in Luton.
  • 8% of households experience low income/high cost fuel poverty, rising to 12% of private tenants.


  • More than 1 in 4 workers earning below the Real Living Wage.
  • 23,000 employees on zero-hour and agency contracts.
  • Claimant count of 8.4% - up from 3.4% in March 2020 – the sharpest rise in the country.

 Income standards

  • 33.4% of households are living below the Luton Minimum Income Standard for a decent standard of living, with 12.2% unable to afford basic needs.
  • 39.4% of children growing up in relative poverty in 2019 to 2020.
  • 26% of working households in relative poverty.

 Life expectancy

  • Life expectancy gap of 6.9 years between women in Luton’s most deprived and most affluent wards – for men this gap is 5.1 years.
  • Male life expectancy in Luton one year less than the national figure.
  • Over 25,000 people living with mental health conditions and 3,900 with learning disabilities.

Sources: 2011 and 2021 Census, Land Registry, This Is Luton, Luton 2040, DLUHC

The Covid pandemic had a significant impact on the town especially in relation to employment and health. The effects were felt most deeply by people who were already experiencing the most disadvantage. The pandemic also had greatest impact in particular ethnic groups. Equitable recovery is a central part of our approach and ambitions.

Taking a ‘Health in All Policies’ approach to housing could significantly impact the health and well-being of populations, especially vulnerable groups. This is more critical than ever, given the context of the pandemic that has led to worsening overall health and well-being. Housing is a key means to support the BLMK

Integrated Care System’s priorities of Start Well; Live Well, Age Well, Growth and Reducing Inequalities.

Luton has limited land availability and the pattern of development is shifting so that over the next ten years, we will see much more densification and higher buildings become part of the townscape.

Our approach will be based on working in partnership and listening to our residents and communities. We benefit from strong community engagement and initiatives in Luton and will work with residents and communities across the town.

Housing has been identified by our Fairness Taskforce as a social justice issue. With such a significant population of young people, access to appropriate housing is also a generational fairness issue. This is why the council commissioned specific engagement with young people as part of the housing strategy consultation, and the views gathered are reflected in this document.

The Fairness Taskforce expressed ambitions to ensure Luton has ‘safe, secure and truly affordable housing for everyone’ and is ‘A place where nobody needs to sleep outside on the streets’.

We are increasing our engagement with tenants and residents so our services are responsive and accessible. Our customer approach supports early interventions, integrated services and easy digital options for people, whilst providing additional support where needed.

Our council wealth building approach supports the local economy and the council is actively investing in housing projects as part of this approach. This plays a part in Levelling Up the local economy and building relevant skills for the future.

Case study: Listening to tenants and residents

Local residents picture 

Pam (Chair) of the Tenant Board said “During lockdown regular Tenant Board Zoom meetings meant we continued to be involved with budget setting and reviewing housing service performance. Locally we also held a series of small walkabouts across the town. This helps resolve local issues. Recycling in flat blocks was raised by the local tenants and residents group and they now issue recycling bags to residents. This helps the group to both maintain the tidiness of the local area and keep tenants informed and involved.”

John (Vice Chair) of the Tenant Board said “I believe wherever they live, tenants can make a difference to council housing services, and as a Board member, I know it’s an enormous privilege to represent tenants’ views and use them to help ensure housing services are the best that they can be.”

Targets and priority actions - how we work

Housing services will contribute to and deliver our emerging Corporate Customer Commitment so service standards are clearly understood. We will review our housing service delivery to align with the council’s customer service approach.

We will implement a new housing software system which allows for customer visibility, clear information and ensures building safety monitoring and compliance. We will implement the ISO9000 quality assurance system to our housing services.

Strategic context

The housing strategy fits into our strategic delivery framework.

Image of the Luton 2040 delivery frameword

Luton 2040 delivery framework

1. Corporate plan

  • Strategies for different delivery areas
  • Service plans
  • Team delivery plans

2. 2040 KPI's

  • Shared strategies
  • 2040 partnership delivery plans

3. Individual partner strategies

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Current and future considerations

© 2024 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ