26 Apr 2013

Harrow Council bangs its drum on social housing fraud

Harrow Council’s ground-breaking housing fraud team is among an elite group of council investigators to be awarded additional funding to tackle social housing fraud, they modestly announce.
Harrow Council's partnership approach between the Corporate Anti-Fraud Team and the Housing Management Team has revealed twelve cases of tenancy fraud last year, and ten the year before. A further 20 cases are under advanced investigation and housing management have a rolling programme of housing tenancy audits which target high risk properties.

The Council's housing management team inspects homes without warning to check who is living there and how the property is being maintained. The amount Harrow Council has saved taxpayers by recovering social housing properties that were being unlawfully sublet as a result of these investigations is approximately £400,000. These cases have freed up vital social housing stock for people in genuine need and reduced the rising cost to the Council of placing residents in temporary accommodation due to the shortage of affordable housing. Harrow has one of the lowest levels of social housing stock in the capital - there are approximately 5,000 homes and around 4,000 people on the housing waiting list.
It's pleasing to see the grant going to councils who are likely to make good use of it.

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