CLG claims 5,000 social tenants earn six-figure salaries
Around 5,000 people on six-figure salaries live in social housing, government data suggest.
The Communities and Local Government department wants to introduce a ‘pay-to-stay’ policy, allowing landlords to charge market rent where tenants earn more than £60,000.
According to the department’s figures, there are now up to 5,000 council house tenants with a household income of more than £100,000 a year, while up to 8,000 have annual household incomes of more than £80,000.
In total, up to 21,000 earn more than £60,000 a year.
Eric Pickles, communities secretary, promised the government would take action to prevent this ‘blatant unfairness’.
‘We intend to give landlords the option to charge very high-earning social tenants a fair level of rent. If the tenants want to continue using this precious national resource they will pay a fair price for the privilege,’ he said.
Figures compiled by the CLG show the high earners are subsidised by the taxpayer by £4,200 a year through low rents.
Councils and housing associations are required to means test tenants when they first move into a property, but they are not obliged to declare increases in income.