Dec 8, 2010
A report to Reading Borough Council’s Community Care, Housing and Health Scrutiny Panel this evening (7 December) has revealed that following concerns initially raised by Cllr Daisy Benson and anti-fraud officers, the Council is taking a more robust approach to identifying and reducing housing tenancy fraud in Council housing in Reading.
This is already paying dividends with 21 potential frauds investigated and a number of properties re-let.
Endorsing the findings of the report, Cllr Daisy Benson, Lead Member for Housing on Reading Borough Council said:
“I raised serious questions in 2009 about the robustness of the Council’s procedures in relation to tracking and cracking down on potential housing tenacy fraud after nationally it was revealed that illegal tenancy fraud is rife in many towns and cities.”
“I am pleased to see as a result of the concerns I raised the Council is now taking a more robust approach including raising awareness with staff and Council tenants to identify fraud and get action taken.”
“People who fraduently sub-let Council properties are defrauding the public purse and putting additional, unwanted pressure on Council housing in Reading which is already in high demand.
“The cost to the Council of every fraud is estimated at £11,000 which equals the cost of putting up families in temporary accomodation.”
“This is wholly unacceptable and the Coalition Administration of Reading Borough Council is committed to taking further steps to identifying potential fraud and action against offenders.
“This is in stark contrast to the complacent approach of the previous Labour administration which could have cost taxpayers dear.”
For more details about the actions taken by the Council since March 2010 please view the housing fraud report.