Stewart Dickson MLA said: “It is baffling that not a single case of tenancy fraud has ever been reported in Northern Ireland. In England and Wales, it is the single biggest area of Council fraud, costing £1.8billion. So why does it not officially exist in Northern Ireland?
“The Auditor General stated last year that tenancy fraud is a major problem that is not being addressed. So why have the Housing Executive and Social Development Minister not sought to tackle this issue? If it is a case of a lack of resources, then the Minister must explain why he is not directing staff towards this issue. The Minister must also answer serious questions as to why no case has ever been reported in Northern Ireland.
“The people on the street know that it is taking place, as do the authorities. It is time that we sent out a clear message that abuse of the system will not be tolerated. It will only be then that we can reduce the waiting lists for social housing and help people find correct accommodation. They are the people who are being harmed the most by tenancy fraud.”