Woman sentenced for Crawley housing application fraud

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A woman who fraudulently gained a place Crawley’s housing register has been sentenced.

Pauline Alderson, 65, of Camelot Court, Ifield, pleaded guilty to the dishonesty offence under the Fraud Act at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on Friday (November 13), said Crawley Borough Council.

A spokesman said Alderson falsely declared she did not own any property when she applied for a council house in November 2012.

She was placed in Bed and Breakfast on the housing register after she submitted an application stating she was in privately rented accommodation.

An anonymous tip-off sparked a council fraud investigation which found she was the sole owner of the property in Consett, County Durham, since 2007.

Alderson was given a 12 month conditional discharge with £500 costs and rejected from the council’s housing register.

Councillor Stephen Joyce, Cabinet member for Housing, said: “There are around 2,000 households on the waiting list so our Fraud Team thoroughly investigates applications to ensure that our housing is allocated to those who need it the most.”

Providing housing to people who make such false applications lose the council some £18,000 per year, according to the Audit Commission.

A council spokesman said the cost was due to maintaining a genuine housing applicant in bed and breakfast accommodation.

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