Whistleblower exposes chancers and cheats who abuse social housing
06/07/2010 7:22 pm
Everyone who reads Inside Housing needs to read this article. It written by a housing officer from a London HA and perfectly illustrates the reality behind everything I have ever written about the corruption and venality generated by so-called "needs" based allocation. This comes comes straight from the horses mouth and is essential reading - especially for Eric Pickles Special Advisors:
Sort: Newest first | Oldest first
06/07/2010 9:06 pm
Is this really happening. I cannot believe it.
06/07/2010 10:28 pm
Of course it's true Eva, it's an article in the Daily Mail with an anonymous source. What's not to believe? It's not as though some bored journo would just write a stock article designed to pander to the thoughts and values of their readers is it? Really ILAG, for someone who often states a robust argument backing up some of your arguments, some of which I have a grudging acceptance for parts of, your presentation of Daily Mail and Migrationwatch links as "fact" is laughable. To post the link for a story with no attributed contributor, no substance, is just pitiful.
06/07/2010 11:00 pm
The truth is that the senior civil service is in cahoots with the joined up international security services who have an agenda to move national populations around the global to create the effect of 'globalisation'. However, this globalisation is not the cause, but a symptom for what is going on at an elitist (imperial) level. The 'Establishment' have many fingers in many pies (countries / land masses) which need bending in order to extract what is needed. This bending is created by brainwashing the people living within those countries / land masses into thinking consumerism is the be all and end all. This is done by creating select examples from the populations who have 'made it' by moving overseas (for example to London, England, or any other westernised city for that matter) to stoke the fires of capitalism within the hearts of these populaces. This then creates an opportunity for the Establishment to exploit their resources so they can benefit their own Countries (like England)!
07/07/2010 0:22 am
No, that's just conspiracy central driven paranoia. As contributors to IH often point out, Government is just not competent enough to get all these elaborately hatched schemes off the ground in the first place...
HL - the article is very close to the truth and the source of the article (DM) is beside the point. I wouldn't expect to see it in the Guardian of course but many of observations ring true. Third world migrants with no connection to this country whatsover gaming the system and breeding vast families that can never be supported (carrying on with the same behaviour that makes their countries of origin the basket cases that they are), crooked council officers placing people on the "priority list" (I am aware of at least one such officer at my council fired for doing this when one of his tenant placements moaned about their accomodation when he was on hols and so he got found out by colleagues), it's all there. Top stuff. Pickles - you know what to do next....
07/07/2010 8:16 am
There is greed, corruption and theft in every business in the world, why should social housing be any different? Of course there are tenants playing the system and officers abusing thier powers for one reason or another, its called human nature (why work hard when you can get something for nothing!)!
07/07/2010 11:39 am
Of course it si human nature - but laws and other measures have to be there to safguard EFFECTIVELY from the worse effect of human nature.
What's happening now is the state has created a system which allows and makes possible all this corruption amongst social housing staff and customers, and then the same state brands those who abuse it cheaters.
Any idiot would know that if you offer the occasion for abuse someone will take it, If you want to stop abuse going on, you got to create a system that makes any abuse extremely difficult. If you do not do this calling people abusers and cheaters is only an excuse to to justify the real failure of a system that instead of working EFFECTIVELY is there just to create a population of cheaters and blames the cheaters for being cheaters to excuse itself.
07/07/2010 12:04 pm
Thankfully the mega rich megalomaniac duplicitous fraudster Dame Shirley Porter had a whistleblower too - to expose another extreme and one that was proven in a court of law. Thankfully, the courts dont take much notice of hearsay from anonymous sources in the Daily Mail.
Im sure many tenants take the p**s, many of these may be non-white too, yes im just as sure its the Daily Mail reading, Tory leaning PSLs who are taking the p**s out of the HB system more than the tenants!
07/07/2010 12:06 pm
No surprise with the Daily Mail article but you would think the National Housing Federation would get it right wouldnt you?
In a news release yesterday with the main thrust being that 200,000 more people are at risk of homelessness - a point many see - they said the following:
"An unemployed, single and childless person in London, with a weekly rent bill of £350, would see their Housing Benefit cut by £35."
Given that the cap has been set at £280 the 10% cut is irrelevant as the HB / LHA would go down by £70 which they would struggle to pay out of their £65 pw JSA!!
[Is the 10% JSA cut on top of this does anyone know by the way?]
Apart from getting this completely wrong which is bad enough for the NHF, its hardly a good example to highlight is it? Does Osborne or IDS's former spin doctor work there by any chance?
NOTE - This was posted elsewhere yesterday and is very relevant too
07/07/2010 12:40 pm
No surprises, the usual Daily Mail tripe regurgetated by ILAG. Any sources that arn't so ridiculously bias that they could be called credable? Oh yes, i forgot that great bastion of equality that is Migration Watch. Reliable sources = credability, usual right wing propaganda = waste of everyone's time.
07/07/2010 2:32 pm
I have read the article, and given that he talks about the Portugeuese community in South London I am fairly sure he is talking about South Lambeth Road, and Lambeth Council. I have total comtempt for Lambeth Council but I don't believe the author of this article.
You can't just get off a plane and walk into a nice big flat.
08/07/2010 7:29 am
Working in housing, I was familiar with some of the scenarios. It has been exaggerated (no surprise) by the Mail. There was a lot more abuse and fraud of the system a few decades ago, but the instances of abuse are a lot rarer now. No doubt there is some shenanigans still going on.
CBL has taken away a lot of the influence of Allocation departments, but it brings it's own problems. I have done several viewings on the same property, applicants do not turn up (I assume they visit the area before and decide they don't want to live there) or turn down properties as they know that they will not be excluded from further bidding.
08/07/2010 10:15 am
Ususal hate mongering drivvel from the Daily Mail. I can begin to see why, if someone were to read this day in, day out and actually beleived what they read, how someone could form the viewpoint of ILAG. The article is riddled with inaccuacaries and obvioulsy plays on peoples prejudices and fears, massivley sensationalising many aspects of the process. Obviously ommiting any source for the article conviniently side steps the requirement of proof or accountability.
The scary thing is it seems that people are actually beliving what the read in this paper. Eva, no this is not really happening. There are obviously abuses of the system as in all walks of life, but this is just riddiculously over-exagerated.
I'm puzzled how an "imigrant" steps of a plane, and seemingly without going through the application process is viewing properties?
ILAG you say: "the source of the article (DM) is beside the point"
Thats like asking Hitler about race equality and then saying the source of the answer is beside the point.
08/07/2010 10:24 am
I was quite surprised that penniless imigrants were interested in right to buy. Even if this was the case (ommiting the requirement for 2 years secured tenant or 5 years assured) The article implies that the imigrant was looking to buy a proprty on the cheap by playing the system.
The current max discount in London is £16k. Therefore the imigrant would have to find £984000 for the £1million property.
This is a prime example of ommiting facts to sensationalise the story. The Daily Mail can be found in the fiction section of all good bookshops
08/07/2010 11:12 am
I think the point has been missed a little.
The social housing sector is a holy cow that no political party dares put assunder without seeming like total rat bags.
The daily mail and sun stated quite openly that they support the Tories. If you doubt this take on matters see the Sun and Mail coverage throughout the election. Watch out for anything which serves a social purpose being rubbished by Tory sympathisers.This is how public opinion is formed- just chipping away day after day until people can't see the wood for the trees.
Just like the education system-private schools funded by the government and state schools refurbishment programmes being axed. The minister for education giving tens of millions of pounds to his pet projects and blaming the labour party for messing things up in the same breath.Watch out for more Tory stories. Every time you see a biased story ask who it is that owns the media tool (Murdoch is a big player) and who is it aimed against and who would gain.
08/07/2010 12:11 pm
Do you want to hear about the private property manager I once worked for? It would make your hair curl.... truly thugs and vagabonds have nothing on that lot. Though I am sure that there are decent ones... somewhere ; )
09/07/2010 11:51 am
This article looks about as accurate as the previous one on the planning department that supposedly prompted this one. In that article there were many vast exaggerations. For example the "source" cited a colleage who went off sick for 6 months came back and then within a few weeks went off again all on full pay. All LA's have rolling sick years exactly so this can't happen. There are no doubt people who do go off sick for 6 months and come back just before full pay runs out but there is no way that they can have 11 months off sick on full pay in a 12 month period.
Complete exaggeration as I'm sure that this article on housing is. There's undoubtedly some truth in it, we all remember the cases of allocations departments being found out for corrupt behaviour but it's the exception not the norm and far from being rife. I too have experienced tenants viewing properties that expected them to come furnished but again that's the odd one or two not the majority.
As for tenants on benefits who have plasma TVs, well that's me. I took redundancy from my previous job, brought a nice shiny new tv (my other was 15 years old) with some of my redundancy money. I'm now on JSA and searching for a new job. Just because someone is on benefit now doesn't mean that they have always been. Incredible assumptions are made and conclusions jumped too far too often that are the wrong ones. This is then regurgitated as absolute fact.
15/02/2011 11:34 am
A few years ago I was approached by an asylum seeker who told me that if I 'gave him a council house so he could exercise RTB', he would be no trouble, leave me alone and followed this up with 'you understand?'. The following week he was arrested under the new anti-terror laws and detained indefinitely at Belmarsh. That guy knew very well how to make successful funding applications to set up English Language schools as a front for extremist training and among some of the items taken from his open market and paid for by the local social services dept property, were an arsenal of guns and bomb making equipment.
A couple of years after this I was approached by two known local drug dealers, one of whom had been attacked by a gang of 'unknown hoodies' and sustained some injuries. They offered me money and demanded emergency and immediate rehousing. They were so taken aback at my refusal to make an exception to policy allocation, ie accept a bribe, that they complained to the local Race Equality Council!
Years later I received a call from a LA CBL officer asking me to re-house a family she knew of who she wanted housed in a particular area. She did not disclose what her connection to this family were but advised that they had. not made any application in the normal way. The officer reassured me that the non application would not be a problem as she would carry out the CBL online processing for the allocation and that if I did this, the arrangement would be reciprocal.
I realise the above examples are a little extreme and probably not the norm but I simply refuse to believe they were isolated cases.
15/02/2011 3:35 pm
What you experienced happens a lot more than anyone realises. It is slightly less common now as most CBL teams are confined to actioning computer prompts. The system can still be abused, albeit slightly more difficult and more professionals involved.
The practice is still going on, and the properties that were handed over to tenants that should not have had them are still there. The sooner Mr Shnapps and the rest of the the powers that be do something about it, the better. These properties could be re-allocated to homeless families and vulnerable people.
Why doesn't the Govt set up a taskforce of ex- housing staff from all levels, to investigate sub-letting, illegal lets and giro drops. What do others think about this. AP
18/02/2011 12:55 pm
Originally posted by Anon @ 3.35pm on 15th February
"Why doesn't the Govt set up a taskforce of ex- housing staff from all levels, to investigate sub-letting, illegal lets and giro drops. What do others think about this. AP"
Excellent idea! I suspect that in some areas of the country where demand for social housing is not as critical as in the metropolitan or rural areas, the findings of said taskforce will include a far higher level of multi social tenancy properties funding private lettings empires than imagined.
Yes, CBL should have reduced incidences of tenancy fraud in the social housing sector but would a comprehensive national tenancy audit expose too many flaws in this system and see a resultant return to local authorities making unsuitable and unsustainable allocations decisions that strip people of choice?