Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Monday, 31 October 2011

Restrictions on social housing for high earners

The government is working to restrict social housing for high-earners, the Commons has been told.

Figures show there are about 6,000 households living in taxpayer-funded social housing with incomes more than £100,000.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps said the government was introducing a "pay to stay" scheme whereby those who wish to stay in their properties can do so if they pay the market rent.

He was responding to a question from Conservative MP Aidan Burley during community and local government questions in the Commons on 31 October 2011.

Mr Burley, MP for Cannock Chase, said the 2,345 people on the housing waiting list in his constituency would be "gobsmacked" that people on high incomes were able to live in social housing and pay subsidised rent.

He asked the minister: "With so many people in need of housing languishing in waiting lists what assurances can he give me and my constituents that those people who earn more money than the minister will be forced to pay their way like the rest of us?"

Mr Shapps agreed that this was a "real problem" with the housing system, adding that "every penny" of the new scheme would be used to "build more affordable homes for people who really need them".

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