Healey backs blitz on council house sub-letting

FORMER housing minister John Healey is backing a bill to crack down on subletting by council tenants.

As Housing Minister, in 2009, the Wentworth MP launched the first national drive against social housing fraud, by using data matching to give councils and housing associations hot leads to potential fraudsters.

Now he is supporting a Private Members’ Bill, Prevention of Social Housing Fraud, which aims to make illegal subletting a criminal offence, create effective deterrents and allow for proceeds of subletting to be reimbursed to social landlords, rather than the state.

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He said: “We can’t let cheats keep the tenancies of council houses if they don't need or live in them.

“With so many people needing homes, we need to keep doing all we can to make sure the system is fair.

“Cracking down on sub-letting can free up homes for people on council waiting lists.”