Luton Crown Court heard that Haque, a former housing officer at the council, submitted an application for social housing in which he lied about his personal circumstances. He claimed he was living with relatives who were in the process of evicting him. Haque said this would mean his wife and two children would become homeless. He also stated he had only £1,000 in savings and that his only income was from working for Luton borough council.
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Social Housing Fraud creates a huge burden upon LA’s who are trying their best to provide safe/secure housing for those most in need within their Boroughs, this is not helped when those working within the system take advantage of it for their own gain. This case involved an intelligent Housing Officer exploiting the weaknesses that he had identified in the system for his own gain.
Housing Officers naturally know the systems and requirements inside out, which is why strong fraud prevention techniques are essential and should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that any identified weaknesses are addressed and corrected asap. It is essential that Housing Departments make sure their own house is in order as well as dealing with members of the public that are looking to commit fraud.
Seniour Investigations Officer
Bedford Borough Council
TEICCAF Advisory Board