State house fraud

The Herald reports:

A man is facing allegations he lived off the taxpayer in state housing while he was a landlord owning two properties.

Allan Wilkins, a beneficiary, allegedly lived in two state houses – first in the city centre then in Orakei – over a period of three years. …

The Crown says during the three years that Wilkins was living in the two Housing NZ Corporation places and receiving big rent subsidies, he also owned 149 Browns Rd at Wiri and 2 Sheehan Ave in Papakura.

The Wiri property is valued at $260,000 and the Papakura house is estimated at $200,000.

Dale Dufty, prosecuting, said more charges would be laid against Wilkins over his tenancies which had defrauded the state of more than $68,000.

Now this is a rare case, but it does highlight one of the problems of providing housing assistance through cheap housing, rather than through income support. It provides an incentive for people to qualify for a state house by not disclosing other property.

I note Wilkins is on a benefit. I presume he was receiving rental income from his other properties, so WINZ may want to be checking that out also.

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