Limiting lifetime tenancies will reduce inequality, DCLG claims

Limiting the use of lifetime tenancies will help to reduce inequality by better supporting minority groups, according to a recent impact report from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Plans to limit new lifetime tenancies and instead require councils to grant future tenants fixed-term tenancies are included in the Housing and Planning Bill currently being revised by Parliament.

Under these plans, the fixed term tenancies will last on average two to five years. The DCLG says that the move will reduce the demand on social housing, which currently has a 1.24 million household waiting list.

The report claims that it will achieve this by making it easier for tenants to move to more suitable properties, such as elderly tenants moving to smaller properties and families moving into larger accommodation when it is suitable.

The increased flexibility will reportedly benefit protected groups, including the elderly, the disabled and black and minority ethnic (BME) households the most, and go some way to reducing overcrowded houses.

The DCLG does, however, acknowledge that some individuals could be negatively affected by the changes if a social landlord decides not to renew their fixed-term tenancy.