Tackling tenancy fraud in Birmingham

A woman from Newtown, Birmingham was handed a community order for 12 months at Birmingham Magistrates Court yesterday (4 May 2017) after lying to try and get a council house.

Mrs Noleen Odhiambo (aka Miss Noleen Onyilimba), aged 53, of Geach Street, Newtown, Birmingham was found guilty of two fraud offences on 24 April 2017.  Odhiambo falsely completed a homeless application form in September 2015 by not declaring the full circumstances of her eviction from a Family Optima property in Rickman Drive, Lee Bank.  She also failed to declare that she owned another property.

William Carter, Neighbourhood Manager for Family Optima said, “I am delighted we were able to support the Council to achieve this result.  It sends a clear message that housing fraud will not be tolerated.  This outcome was in addition to the previous success that we had via the Courts in evicting this customer from one of our properties for social housing fraud.  There is a very effective partnership in Birmingham with all social landlords to deal with this type of abuse.”

The information came to light when Family Optima staff alerted Birmingham City Council after becoming aware of her application.  Officers at the council then referred the case to the Application Fraud Team who investigated. Odhiambo was not granted a council tenancy but was placed in temporary accommodation before the fraud offences were uncovered.