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Right to Buy Scheme: Fraud

Question for Department for Communities and Local Government

UIN 42356, tabled on 11 July 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps (a) local authorities, (b) housing associations, (c) his Department and (d) the National Audit Office have taken to investigate the extent of fraud relating to the Right to Buy scheme.

Answered on

14 July 2016

This Government takes fraud extremely seriously. The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 increased the deterrent to tenants considering cheating the system, ensuring those who do cheat are detected more easily and punished more severely, and encourages social landlords to take a more proactive approach to tackling tenancy fraud.

We also provided £19 million funding to help councils tackle tenancy fraud as part of over £35 million government funding to tackle fraud across local government.

We have recently set up a Right to Buy Working Group with representative of housing associations, local authorities and lenders to identify additional safeguards to curb fraud when the Voluntary Right to Buy scheme is rolled out to 1.3 million housing association tenants. Work is underway developing the detailed design of the scheme in collaboration with the housing association sector, specifically looking at how fraud and opportunistic practice prevention measures can, as far as possible, be designed into the sales process.