Tenants who earn more than £100,000 a year could be removed from their council houses under plans being examined by the Government.
Housing Minister Grant Shapps complained that some wealthy people were living in properties that should be kept for the least well off.
"With so many people in housing need languishing on the waiting lists which doubled under Labour, it's right to consider whether people on £100,000-plus salaries should get their rent subsidised by the taxpayer," he told the Daily Telegraph.
"Social housing is an expensive and scarce resource which should be targeted on supporting those in real need."
Up to 6,000 people could be affected, according to figures prepared by officials, and ministers are ready to change the law if necessary to ensure local councils and social landlords can evict those who refuse to leave, the newspaper reported.
The lower rents charged by social housing meant people in some parts of London could save as much as £70,000 a year compared with the price of a similar property in the private-rented sector, it said.