LIFETIME social housing tenancies for new applicants have been ended by Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
From last week, the council started issuing fixed-term tenancies of five years for new social housing lettings, falling to two years for those with a history of antisocial behaviour and/or aged of 18 to 25.
Under the old system, housing tenants had the right to stay in their home for life unless the tenancy was brought to an end because of a breach. Once the tenant passed away, the right of succession passed onto a family member even if the housing need of the individual was less than other potential applicants.
And from next month, greater priority will be given to working households who have a five-year local connection to the borough when allocating social housing.
At the same time, households earning above £40,200 will be prevented from accessing the housing register and instead directed towards low-cost home-ownership options.
The council says the old system is 'antiquated' and didn't provide aspiration but opponents say the new rules are punishing the poor.
Existing tenants will be unaffected by this radical shift. New tenancies in sheltered accommodation and for those with special housing or health needs will still be on a lifetime basis.