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19 Feb 2015

Two social housing frauds

Two women registered on Northampton Borough Council’s housing waiting list have been handed hefty fines - after it was revealed both lied about their links to properties in London.

The cases, which were both heard at Northampton Magistrates' Court, saw both offenders ordered to each pay fines of £500, costs of £500 and £50 victim surcharges.

In one case, Dilara Begum was prosecuted under the Housing Act after making an application for housing in Northampton and failing to declare that she already owned a property in London.

In the second, Sandra Brown was found to be sub-letting a council property she was renting in London - despite being allocated a council property in Northampton.

Brown was prosecuted under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act – the council’s first prosecution under the new act.

Speaking about the cases, Councillor Mary Markham (Con, Obelisk) deputy leader and Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “The council is committed to ensuring vigorous checks are carried out in relation to applications for social housing and this process helps to ensure that properties are allocated to people with a genuine need. Robust action will be taken against anyone submitting false applications.”

Source

Social housing fraud is the most wicked form of welfare fraud. The sums that can be saved are huge, but it's so much more than the money - needy families are being deprived of the chance to have a settled home that suits their needs.

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