24dash reports that the draft tenure direction, part of the proposed new Directions to the Social Housing Regulator, issued for consultation on 7 July, will be amended to state that where "registered providers grant general needs tenancies these are for a minimum fixed term of five years, or exceptionally for a minimum term of no less than two years, in addition to any probationary tenancy period."
It adds that if social landlords decide there are 'exceptional circumstances' where tenancies of less than five years may be appropriate, then they will be required to set out in their tenancy policy what those circumstances will be.
The revision has not (at the time of writing) appeared on the DCLG website.
Shelter's head of policy Roger Harding told the BBC website:
"While this is a positive step, we don't see it as a particularly firm base for someone to be regularly faced with prospect of eviction.He highlighted research undertaken in New South Wales, Australia, which suggests that far from acting as a "springboard" for people to improve their income, as Shapps claims, tenants will be deterred from seeking work for fear of losing their home. The report found that less than one per cent of fixed-term social tenancies created under the policy that heavily influenced the Government's thinking have so far been terminated.
"It is far better to give someone a stable home as a base for getting them back on their feet."
Co-author of the research, Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick of Heriot-Watt University, said:
"The Australian (NSW) experience calls into question the efficacy of the policy now proposed in England, given that so few of their fixed-term tenancies have been terminated, generating a negligible number of additional vacancies, but raising serious concerns about work disincentives."