LIFETIME council tenancies may be scrapped in Barnet with the introduction of a new draft tenancy strategy for the borough.

Cabinet members approved the new strategy at last week’s meeting and it will go to consultation from November 18.

The strategy would introduce short-term tenancies for council housing from April 2012, with a review of the tenant’s earnings and housing needs after five years to determine if they are still eligible for the council subsidised accommodation.

People with existing tenancies will retain lifetime leases, but any new tenants from April will be offered a shorter lease.

The leases would be five years, or two years for people aged under 25.

The new strategy aims to make sure that the borough’s limited housing stock is given to those in the greatest need and address issues of under-occupancy.

Councillor Tom Davey, cabinet member for housing, said: “Rather than a home for life irrespective of your circumstances, we are looking at how we can use the Localism Bill to support people in housing need in Barnet given our limited housing stock.

“I think supporting young people to become independent by offering them a short term tenancy in return for them studying or training is really positive.

“Our overarching aim is to make sure that the council’s housing stock is used as effectively as possible to provide homes for Barnet residents who are unable to find a home in the private sector.

“This can be done by helping people move on from council housing once they are earning enough to be able to rent or buy a home of their own."

The earnings level in the draft is £32,580 amd Cllr Davey welcomed feedback on this figure.

Young people will have their tenancies reviewed every two years and will be supported by the council to access employment, education or training.

“Social housing should, I believe, be part of somebody’s housing journey in the way that the first home you buy is not necessarily your home for life.”

Lifetime secure tenancies will continue to be granted to ex-army personnel who have seen active service, existing tenants, retired people and households in which a person is disabled or terminally ill.