Sunday 4 January 2009 6.25pm
Lambeth faces fraud inquiry over £22m housing black hole
Katharine Barney, Evening Standard
COUNCIL bosses are facing an investigation over a possible £22million overspend in housing budgets.
A catalogue of errors and mismanagement led to the shortage in Lambeth council's finances, which could cost each taxpayer an average of £220.
Now a cross-party commission has recommended investigation into the possibility of fraud after private landlords were paid for houses that were lying empty. Their report, to be released on Thursday, says the group was "astounded" at the "reckless" behaviour concerning the use of private sector properties to house the homeless.