Luton Borough Council’s executive has approved plans to start a project geared to bring much needed additional housing to the town.

The Council is looking to provide £2million of funding to Hightown Housing Association to support the construction of 30 homes for affordable rent in Charles Street. Built on the site of two former factories, the mixed housing project is due for completion next summer and will provide one and two bedroom flats as well as two, three and four bedroom houses all for affordable rent. In addition, 19 homes will be built for shared ownership.

The money comes from the Council’s receipts of Right to Buy council homes. The Council uses as much of this money as possible to build new council homes. However, Government restrictions on housing investment means not all the right to buy receipts can be used in this way. This grant programme will allow the Council to divert unused funds into schemes run by housing associations, providing up to 30% of the development costs.

Cllr Tom Shaw, Portfolio Holder for housing, said:

“This is great news for the people of Luton. The town has experienced the housing crisis that is affecting the country and this initiative will help ease the pressure on our housing stock. I am particularly pleased that larger properties will be built, as finding large accommodation for families is a particular challenge. There will also be benefits in line with our wider investment plans as the scheme creates jobs and training opportunities for the local community.”

Andrew Royall, Hightown Director of Development said:

“Access to funding cannot keep pace with the growing demand for new affordable homes to be built, especially in this region. It’s great to see Luton Borough Council taking such a proactive step to releasing right to buy receipts, which will undoubtedly speed up the build of new affordable homes. We’re delighted to delivering these much-needed new homes for Luton at affordable rents.”