Council tenants may be asked to move out

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Council house tenants in Babergh may be asked to move home if their income vastly increases or their children grow up and leave.

These changes are being considered as part of a three-month consultation on council house tenancies, due to be launched by Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils on Thursday.

The move is designed to free up under-occupied homes, and help alleviate council house waiting lists. Council bosses claim the proposals have the support of its tenant forums representing 3,480 tenants.

Martin King, head of housing at the two councils, said: “The introduction of flexible tenancies only applies to new tenancies, and not to the existing tenants in social housing.

“At present, we are only able to help approximately 15 per cent of those who need help – we have 3,000 households on the housing waiting list but only around 500 vacancies per year.

“Flexible tenancies could help us make much better use of our limited housing stock so that if someone’s circumstances change – children growing up, new relationships being formed, or a tenant’s income vastly improving – we can release that housing to those that are in real need.”

The proposals were written by members of the council’s joint housing board, with equal numbers of tenants and members of Mid Suffolk and Babergh.

Mr King added: “We understand this is the first joint board in the country.

“These proposals are also supported by members of the tenants forums of both councils.”