People living in council houses will no longer be entitled to a subsidised tenancy for life under Whitehall proposals to address waiting lists. New tenants would have fixed-term contracts under the plans, with regular reviews every few years. If a tenant’s financial position improved he or she would be encouraged to take an equity share or to move to the private sector. If they refused they could face higher rents. The right to a council home is also likely to be tied to a requirement to have or be actively looking for a job. The measures are being considered by Margaret Beckett, the new Housing Minister, in the most radical shake-up of the social housing system for decades.