18 January 2018
An Oldham housing association has managed to save £760,000 thanks to a new service to combat social housing fraud.
Since September 2017, First Choice Homes Oldham has received 40 reports of fraud from members of the public, customers and employees that have resulted in 26 cases being investigated.
So far ten Right to Buy applications have been stopped due to fraud investigation checks. This has resulted in a potential discount saving of £400,000.
Some customers have the right to buy their homes after five years and receive a discount under the national Right to Buy scheme.
A potential saving of £360,000 has been achieved from three properties not being sold as a result of fraud checks. This would be the average cost of building three new homes. These homes can now go to people who really need them.
Three tenancies have also been ended due to fraud and these homes have been re-let to people in genuine need of social housing.
Dave Smith, First Choice Homes Oldham Customer First Director, said: “We’re delighted with this result. We want to protect tenants and ensure homes can be let to people who need them. We work hard to make sure only genuine applications are accepted because there are 20,000 people waiting for social housing in Oldham.”
Housing fraud happens when somebody rents out their social housing property without permission, or when someone uses false information to get a property.
It increases property prices and leads to a shortage of housing so more people than ever before are struggling to meet their housing and private rental costs.
If you suspect that someone living in a First Choice Homes Oldham property is committing fraud then you can report this anonymously: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0161 393 7117.