Hackney Council has saved £972,000 in a crackdown on tenancy fraud in the borough.
The council’s Audit and Anti-Fraud (AFF) division is working with eleven local social housing providers to reduce tenancy fraud in Hackney.
Between April 2011 and April 2012, AFF investigations led to the recovery of 54 Housing Association properties.
The council’s investigations also led to other criminal activity, and is being dealt with in conjunction with the police and the UK Borders Agency.
AFF worked alongside Sanctuary Housing – one of the social housing providers – to identify housing fraud on the Kingsmead Estate.
It was discovered that five tenancies were either being illegally sublet or had been obtained fraudulently.
The council is currently working towards returning these properties to Sanctuary, enabling families waiting on Hackney’s housing list to be homed permanently and saving the council approximately £90,000.
Stephanie Killer, Sanctuary Director of Housing Operations (London and South East), said: “Sanctuary is committed to addressing housing fraud and, by working in partnership with the 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 and Resources for Hackney, said: “Hackney Council takes tenancy fraud extremely seriously. There are many families in the borough waiting to be re-housed.