Callcredit welcomes new social housing fraud Act

Expert in public sector data matching and fraud prevention, Callcredit Information Group, welcomes the new Act of Parliament which outlaws the illegal sub-letting of social housing properties.

Callcredit believes the new Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 will act as a clear deterrent and could save the government an estimated £1.7bn a year now that council tenants can be fined or imprisoned for illegal subletting.

According to The Audit Commission, social housing fraud is the single largest category of fraud loss in local government; in 2012 alone 98,000 social houses were unlawfully sublet.  The new Act ensures that tenants illegally sub-letting could face a possibly unlimited fine and up to two years' in prison.

Andrew Davis, Director of Public Sector, Callcredit Information Group said: "We are delighted that the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Bill has now become law which we believe is a big step in helping to tackle tenancy fraud and freeing up homes for those in the greatest need for social housing. From the work we are doing with many councils across the UK to help prevent tenancy fraud we are acutely aware of problems local authorities face in identifying social housing fraud.

"Now that local authorities have been empowered to prosecute those committing social housing fraud the next step is to ensure local authorities have the correct tools to identify and assess tenants in a timely and cost effective way."

Specifically designed for the public sector Callcredit's Three Sixty solutions helps detect potential fraud amongst existing tenants, monitors them for change of circumstances and prevents fraudulent applications and allocations, which can help prioritise cases for further investigation.

Andrew continued: "We are committed to fighting fraud locally and look forward to continuing to help local authorities detect fraud amongst existing tenants, monitoring existing tenants for change of circumstances and preventing fraudulent applications and allocations.  The new Act will be able to bring all this hard work full circle and show fraudsters the real consequences to their actions."

For more information on the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 visit the parliament website where you can download the full report: http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN06378