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Category : Housing > Homelessness

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 08 Mar 2017

Summary

A man complains on behalf of his daughter that the council refused to help her with her housing or social care when she was made homeless.

The complaint

The father complains that his daughter asked for help from the council on five separate occasions. This should have triggered a duty on the council to take an application ad investigate whether it should provide accommodation.  The council failed to issue a written decision on each application though legally obliged to do so.

Barnet Homes delivers the homelessness service on behalf of the council. The council retains responsibility for the service. In this report, we refer to the council, rather than to Barnet Homes. This is because the council is accountable for any failings in the service.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

To remedy the injustice caused the council should:

  • provide the daughter with a written decision on her homeless application;

  • pay £200 to the father to reflect his avoidable time and trouble in complaining. This is in line with our published Guidance on Remedies;

  • pay £300 to the daughter to reflect her avoidable frustration, and for the lost review and appeal rights. This is in line with our published Guidance on Remedies;

  • review this report and ensures that in future homeless applications are taken and decision letters are issued in all appropriate cases.

Ombudsman satisfied with council's response: 21 August 2017

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