13 Nov

Beckett speaks of turning social renters into homeowners

Beckett speaks of turning social renters into homeowners

Housing minister Margaret Beckett has said she is keen to find ways of turning people who rely on social housing into first-time buyers or private sector renters.

Ms Beckett made her remarks at a speech to the Smith Institute in London last night.

She said: "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."

The minister used the occasion to deny a newspaper report that she was considering ending lifelong tenancies in council housing in favour of a system under which tenants would have their means frequently re-assessed.

Ms Beckett insisted that the housing green paper was still being developed and that no decisions have been made yet, although she is keen to see a change to the status quo.

The minster may be questioned publicly about this in Dover tonight as she is due to appear on the BBC Question Time panel.

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