Millionaire flouts government guidelines by living in council house

Millionaire flouts government guidelines by living in council house


A five million pound property tycoon – whose portfolio includes a supermarket – has been living in a taxpayer-subsided house for £135 a week.

Despite having a portfolio of at least eight houses, a restaurant and a supermarket, worth in the region of £5 million, multi-millionaire Shiraj Haque has been living in a three-storey council property in Bethnal green, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

Ministers recently pledged to prevent anyone earning over £100,000 from being allowed to live in a council property.

The house, intended for low income families, has a waiting list of around 20,000 - one of the longest in London.

Shiraj Haque told the Telegraph he was housed in the property when his last home was demolished and he considered himself a 'social democrat' who 'wanted to connect with the community'.

He has lived in the council house since 2000 – when he was already a wealthy business man.

Councillor Peter Golds told the Daily Mail: “It is beyond belief that a millionaire is taking a public subsidy to deprive a needy family of a home,” he said.

Mr Haque is the sole director and only shareholder of Renegade Investment, a company which owns property worth £2.4million, according to its latest accounts.

He is also in effective control of the Clifton Group, which owns four restaurants and a cash-and-carry supermarket. According to the Daily Mail he is known as the 'Curry King of Brick Lane'.

Neither Shiraj Haque, the Peabody Trust housing association nor the council are able to explain how he met the criteria for social housing.

The government crackdown comes amid several revelations about the well-off bedding down in council properties, one of which was serving Labour councillor Ayesha Chowdhury, who lived in council housing despite owning properties worth at least £1million.

Records show that Mrs Chowdhury, who represents Beckton ward in Newham, lived in a housing association home despite her and her husband, Faiz, owning 17 properties.

Social housing is allocated after a rigorous needs assessment involving income, family size and circumstances.

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