Wolverhampton Leads the UK on Tackling Social Housing Fraud
Published by Kate Hughes for Wolverhampton Homes in Housing
Nearly 100 properties have been re-allocated to people in genuine need of housing, thanks to Wolverhampton Homes’ efforts to tackle social housing fraud.
Now the Arm’s Length Management Organisation, which looks after Wolverhampton City Council’s properties, has been singled out for praise in a national report on tackling the issue.
Wolverhampton Homes has been featured in the Audit Commission’s Protecting the Public Purse Report, released today (Thursday 8 November), which highlights a dramatic increase in the detection of social housing fraud.
Wolverhampton Homes launched its campaign to tackle social housing fraud in 2010 and has since investigated more than 220 reports.
As a result, it has recovered 98 properties, which have now been let to people who were in desperate need of housing.
Some of the homes were being illegally sub-let, others had been obtained fraudulently and some were left empty while the tenants lived elsewhere.
According to the report, more than three times as much money is lost through tenancy fraud as housing benefit fraud.
Mark Henderson, Director of Housing at Wolverhampton Homes, said: “With more than 12,000 people on the housing register in Wolverhampton, it is important that housing is allocated to the people who genuinely need it.
“People who commit this type of fraud are stealing from all of us.
“I’m pleased to say that we are leading the way nationally in tackling this problem but we won’t rest on our laurels.
“I want to send a clear message to fraudsters that we are on to them and I would also like to thank everyone who has tipped us off to potential housing fraud over the past two years.”
To help prevent fraud, Wolverhampton Homes photographs new tenants, requires a signed declaration before offering a home, monitors payments, conducts audits and shares information with other organisations.