long-awaited housing green paper.
In more expensive parts of the country, especially in London, council rents could rise from an average of£50 a week to£200. The plans have been drawn up to tackle the problems of huge numbers of empty council homes because people choose to live in good areas rather than on a run-down estate. The reform will be in tandem with a shake-up of the
housing benefit system to ensure that those who effectively get free accomodation will have to contribute in future. Ministers also believe that charging market rents for council houses will raise extra cash to subsidise social housing and renovate run-down properties.
Under the new proposals council rents would 'reflect' private rents, though they would still probably be slightly lower, because council houses are less popular than private homes.
Campaigners for the homeless said that they move could have a catastrophic effect on social housing, forcing low-paid tenants out of better areas.