Alison Seabeck MP, Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister, has called on the Tory-led Government to back Labour’s plans to get tough on fraudsters who exploit the system to obtain a council house ahead of families who play by the rules.
Labour has tabled two new clauses to the Localism Bill, which will be debated in the Commons this week, which would close loopholes in housing law and Alison Seabeck has written to the Government urging them not to oppose Labour’s plans when the House of Commons considers them.
In two major cases at the Court of Appeal, judges were unable to take houses allocated on fraudulent grounds away from people who had no right to them because of legal loopholes.
In one case a healthy man in his twenties in Birmingham was given a council house specially adapted for a disabled person by a corrupt housing officer; whilst in Newport a man covered up his mother’s death for three years to allow him to take the tenancy of a family home to which he would not have been entitled.
Alison Seabeck said:
"Labour wants the law to be as tough as possible on people who exploit this system for their own benefit.
“At the moment, the law allows people who defraud their way to a council house to keep it. That’s plainly wrong – the law needs to be on the side of people who stick to the rules, not those who wilfully break them.
“Labour is calling on the Government to accept our plans to get tough on these fraudsters and give local councils the power to take homes away from people who play the system so that they can provide better housing to families who play by the rules.”