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Hackney housing benefit backlogs cause boycott threat



Hackney Council remains locked in conflict with housing associations over the housing benefit backlogs that are said to have reached £3m.

Housing associations last month threatened to boycott new tenants in Hackney because of long-standing problems with Hackney and its housing benefits IT outsourcer ITNet.

David Cant, chief executive of the New Islington and Hackney Housing Association, said housing associations had been wrangling with Hackney for the past month over the terms of an independent review, but that agreement had been reached.

However, a spokesman for Hackney Council said, "We are not asking anybody to carry out an independent review of our housing benefit service."

Claire Forest, marketing director of ITNet, said productivity was improving and they had moved from a pilot scheme of on site surgeries at housing associations to a borough-wide programme.

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