Hackney Council's collaborative working has led to a crackdown on tenancy fraud in the borough.
A dedicated team within the Council’s Audit & Anti-Fraud (AAF) division is working with eleven local social housing providers to reduce tenancy fraud in Hackney. In 2011/12 Audit & Anti-Fraud investigations led to the recovery of 54 Housing Association properties. Independent figures place the financial cost of the identified tenancy misuse at £972,000.
Other criminal activity has also been identified as a result of the Council investigations, which is being dealt with in co-operation with the Police and UK Borders Agency.
In a recent multi-agency response to sub-letting and housing/council tax debt, the AAF team worked with Sanctuary Housing to identify housing fraud on the Kingsmead Estate.
It was established that five tenancies had been obtained fraudulently, or were being illegally sublet, and work is ongoing to return these properties to the landlord so that families on London Borough of Hackney’s waiting list can be permanently housed, leading to a further estimated saving of £90,000 for Hackney Council.
Stephanie Killer, Director of Housing Operations (London and South East), said: “Sanctuary is committed to addressing housing fraud and, by working in partnership with agencies across Hackney, we have a strategy to tackle illegal subletting. This initial exercise has been very successful and we are moving forward with further investigations.
"We will continue to take appropriate action if we find our homes are being used fraudulently.”
Councillor Samantha Lloyd, Cabinet Member for Finance & Resources, said:
“Hackney Council takes tenancy fraud extremely seriously. There are many families in the borough waiting to be re-housed. The recent successes of tackling fraud are great examples of what can be achieved by collaborative working.”
For more information please contact Samantha Allison on 020 8356 3048