Sources within the council claim that the new Blackwall Reach Development project is now placed in doubt as 3 key members of Swan Housing Association staff are being investigated for embezzling funds from the grant available from the Homes & Communities Agency.
Sources within Swan state that funds have been taken and have disappeared from the account available for social housing. Allegations have also been made that claim a close link between different community groups funding (outside of swan) and this missing money, which could be in the area of the hundreds of thousands if not millions.
Council and Swan Housing staff are apparently now in tight negotiations as how to deal with this latest revelation. Swan Housing Association are the housing association chosen by the council to take on the Blackwall Reach Regeneration project.
Council Staff claim this is now a police matter which was prompted by the fears expressed by the the central government body the Homes & Communities Agency and is being investigated as fraud.
Here is the statement from Swan regarding this fraud;
Statement from Swan Housing Group
Since January 2012, Swan Housing Group, in co-operation with the Social Housing Regulator, has been carrying out an investigation into allegations around the practice of a small number of Swan Housing Group staff prematurely drawing down grant from the Homes and Communities Agency. There is no evidence whatsoever that this practice has been for personal gain of anyone within Swan or that public funds have been misused.
An Interim Report has been prepared by solicitors Devonshires, containing preliminary findings and allegations that a small number of Swan Housing Group staff had deliberately subverted the operating system for premature grant draw down.
Today (Tuesday, 3rd July 2012), following the comments in the Interim Report, three members of staff have been suspended pending a full internal investigation in accordance with normal H.R. procedure. Additionally, a consultant’s contract has been terminated.
Swan Housing Group is committed to the highest standards of probity and conduct in all of its dealings and expects the same of all of its staff and consultants.
Swan Housing Statement – 04/07/12