Following a successful prosecution last month, Wycombe District Council says it will be clamping down hard on fraudulent applications for social housing in 2016.
A local man from Plumer Road, High Wycombe now has a criminal record after he pleaded guilty to making a fraudulent application to join the Council’s housing register by failing to declare that he already owned a property in the District.
The Magistrates fined the man £235 and he was ordered to pay £1,167 in prosecution costs as well as the court charge and victim surcharge.
Wycombe District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing Councillor Julia Langley commented: ‘We want to make sure that the people who need social housing or benefits get what they are rightly entitled to. This year we face tight budgets and social housing is in short supply so we need to work even harder to clamp down on people who try to cheat the system. The vast majority of people applying to us for social housing are in genuine need; but we owe it to them and to anyone paying their taxes to root out the few people who try to cheat the system. I’m delighted that through the hard work of everyone involved in this case it was possible to obtain a successful prosecution.
We are sending out a very clear message – where we find people making fraudulent claims we will investigate and take appropriate action, which will include criminal proceedings in appropriate cases‘.
If an applicant has any doubts about whether they qualify to join the housing register Wycombe District Council 0fficers will advise and assist them on issues of eligibility.
If you think anyone is committing fraud, you can report your suspicions to the Wycombe District Council Corporate Fraud Team by freephone on 0800 0158995 or by e-mail to [email protected]. All calls and e-mails are treated in the strictest confidence.