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End of lifelong tenancies played down

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Claims in The Times newspaper that council house residents face the end of lifelong tenancies have been played down by the government.

The newspaper said that the new housing minister Margaret Beckett was considering the idea ahead of a green paper expected in the New Year.

Under this plan, which has been promoted by the Chartered Institute of Housing, tenants whose financial circumstances improve would be offered the chance to buy a share in their home or face a rent increase so that their housing costs would no longer be so heavily subsidised.

Its policy director Richard Capie said: “We need to have a much better approach that changes with individuals’ circumstances and supports people in their housing and wider aspirations.”

A Department for Communities & Local Government spokesman said: “The Times has given over-prominence to this.

“Margaret Beckett is currently considering all the evidence and arguments in favour of changes to the current system, however she has not taken any decisions on measures that may form part of a reform package. We expect to signal how we intend to take this forward in the New Year.”

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