Councils Favour “Pay to Stay” Plans

Wandsworth council in London has backed a call for wealthier social tenants to pay higher rents.

In a response to a government consultation on the ‘pay to stay’ proposals launched in June this year , Conservative-run Wandsworth Council said that tenants with annual incomes of more than £60,000 should not benefit from sub-market rent.

The consultation paper, ‘High income social tenants pay to stay’, could lead to a change in the law for higher-earning social tenants, making them pay full market rent for their properties.

Wandsworth Council said: “It is this council’s view that it is not right that high earners should benefit from what is effectively subsidised housing.  Social housing is a scarce resource and the council welcomes any proposals that ensure those earning high incomes are assessed to pay higher rents to remain in their social housing properties”.

They added that they did not want high-income tenants to leave their properties, but simply that they should pay higher rent than their low-income neighbours.

Paul Ellis, cabinet member for housing in Wandsworth said: “Given the fact that social housing is so heavily subsidised by taxpayers it is only right and proper that tenants with very high incomes pay their fair share”

Some figures in housing have said that the government proposals would lead to the end of mixed communities and the effective ghettoisation of social housing.

Councils have until 12th September 2012 to respond.

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