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Beckett squashes life tenancy speculation

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Margaret Beckett has squashed speculation that she wants to scrap lifelong tenancies for people living in council housing.

The recently appointed housing minister used a speech at a seminar organised by the Smith Institute yesterday to refute a ‘Times’ newspaper report that she was considering proposals to get rid of secure tenancies for people renting off councils.

She said that the housing reform green paper being prepared by officials at the Department for Communities and Local Government was “very much a work in progress.”

“Despite some speculation yesterday, I want to make it clear that I’m currently considering all the evidence and arguments in favour of reform.

“I have not taken any decisions on the content or timing of the green paper. “
But she said that the Hills review of social housing, published last year by the DCLG, had shown that “social housing is not working for those it is supposed to support.”

She also signalled a greater role for the private rented sector.

“If people could find greater security and stability in the private rented sector, or could take advantage of low cost homeownership, then perhaps fewer would think that social housing was their only option.

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