The housing market is subject to external influences well beyond the reach of the council so there are elements of the strategy which will be subject to delivery risks.
Significant economic challenges which undermine local incomes for an extended time will likely exacerbate debt, arrears and homelessness, and put pressure on rent policies.
The rising cost of living – and in particular the cost of energy – is expected to have a very serious impact on household disposable incomes, living standards and business viability.
The council itself faces financial challenges including required savings for our temporary accommodation and homelessness provision, and pressure on the Housing Revenue Account for example reductions in rental income impacting long term investment capacity.
Covid-19 or other pandemic may remain a medium term risk which disrupts service provision, economic activity and wellbeing.
Supply chain and construction cost pressures could reduce the viability of developments, impacting on affordable housing delivery, broader housing costs and construction as a whole.
The relative benefits of building in Luton compared to other areas in the locality, in terms of the availability of construction land, house prices and construction costs could mean that delivery shifts to adjacent areas.
Government policies in relation to social security benefits, and eligibility for assistance, especially the rate of Local Housing Allowance in relation to actual local rents, could mean it’s harder to secure long term accommodation for families in need of a home.
National and sub-regional planning policies and guidance may impact on our ability to attract appropriate development.
Technological changes including digitalisation of telephone line services, the availability of digital access and service changes will require the council to respond effectively to maintain good services, and adapt the technology offer to stay relevant.
The council’s best means of responding to external challenges is to remain very clear about its ambitions and build ever stronger relationships with external partners. In terms of financial challenges, strict budget management and proactive work to improve efficiencies will be central to managing the risks.