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With LIFT we can see our caseload changing and the different types of households that are being impacted by the economic downturns. This lets us understand how we can reflect our support to match the impact that's occurring as people move off housing benefit and predominantly onto Universal Credit as they become made redundant. We can be specific with our targeting of resources of help, which we wouldn't be able to do without the LIFT Dashboard.
Clive JonesHead of Revenues and Benefits, Luton Borough Council

Hear how Luton Council plans to use data for recovery

LUTON COUNCIL’S DATA LED APPROACH TO TACKLING HOMELESSNESS

Lord Bird, founder of the Big Issue, recently hosted a Leading Lights Network event for Policy in Practice at the House of Lords to discuss the role public sector data has in identifying financial vulnerability and tackling homelessness.

One of the speakers was Nikki Middleton, Head of Customer Services at Luton Borough Council, a homelessness trailblazer local authority. Policy in Practice has been working closely with Luton, in collaboration with service design agency UsCreates (now part of FutureGov), to build a proactive and data-led approach to tackling homelessness.

Luton Borough Logo
When we don’t avoid (homelessness), not only is it expensive (for local authorities) but the cost to individuals is considerable. That means that the interventions become less effective and engagement is much harder. It makes no sense at all for us to wait until someone is at a point of crisis.
Nikki Middleton,Customer Services Manager, Luton Borough Council
DATA AND THE HOMELESSNESS REDUCTION ACT: AN OPPORTUNITY FOR PREVENTION

The introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) in 2018 placed new requirements on how local authorities deal with homelessness. Many saw this as an opportunity to rethink their homelessness services altogether, with some pioneering authorities exploring the predictive potential of the data they hold.

After six weeks of analysing data and mapping Luton’s current homelessness service, front-line staff trialled a number of service changes with an initial cohort of customers we identified as being at financial risk. At eighteen weeks, we reviewed Luton’s feedback and crunched their data again, to present a more refined and localised view.

7 key lessons for Luton
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