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Reform to end 'council house for life'

The social care minister has announced sweeping changes to the allocation of public sector homes in the Isle of Man, ending a system where some retain a council house for life.

From April all new tenancies will be reviewed every two years to see whether those in council or commissioners' homes still need them. If tenants' income has risen 'significantly' they may be asked to pay higher rents or move into the private rented sector.

The Department of Social Care says the policy paves the way for means-testing of all tenants in future.

Minister Chris Robertshaw says the aim is to increase turnover in public sector housing, currently less than 10 per cent per year, and give those on waiting lists who need a subsidised council home the chance to rent one.

Details of the two yearly eligibility tests have not yet been released but the department says tenancies will be renewed for those who still qualify.

Speaking on Friday's Mandate programme Mr Robertshaw said society risks losing sight of what public sector housing is for:

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