PLANS for a major overhaul of social housing have been announced by the Isle of Wight Council.
Under the proposals, which could be agreed under delegated powers as soon as Wednesday, next week, those seeking work or in work will be given increased priority for housing.
Those with strong or long-standing connections to the Isle of Wight will also be given greater priority.
As part of the plan, the council said it intended to work with housing associations to introduce incentives to encourage tenants to move into smaller homes if appropriate.
Anyone in social housing will also be given a fixed term contract that will be regularly reviewed to ensure they are in the most appropriate home.
A spokesman said: "This change means residents would not automatically be able to remain in social housing property that had become unsuitable for their needs, irrespective of a change of their financial or personal circumstances.
"For example, a large family whose children had left home would have their tenancy of their property reviewed if it was now considered to have surplus bedrooms."
The homeless, those living in unsanitary or unsafe conditions or who need to move due to medical or welfare grounds and those who need to move due to avoid hardship to themselves or relatives will continue to be given preference, the council said.
The delegated decision is to be taken by cabinet member for social housing Cllr Stuart Hutchinson, who said:
"It is also right that we help those people who, by being in work or taking firm steps in this direction, make an active contribution to Island life, where they are able to.
"This is not about penalising people who cannot work; it is about rewarding those who are seeking to do so.
"We are confident that this more flexible approach will make a positive difference to the lives of many Island families and help them on the right track towards employment and future home ownership, wherever possible.
"Our recently announced First Time Buyer Fund
complements this approach by giving more Islanders the opportunity to get onto the property ladder.
"This is the first step in our plans to introduce a comprehensive new housing strategy which will meet the changing needs of our residents over the coming years and ensure we help provide for the next generation of Islanders."
To view a council report on the plans, click here