London Borough of Hounslow (17 018 631)

Category : Housing > Homelessness

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 03 Oct 2018

Summary

Miss X complains the Council has failed to provide housing support following her application for housing in May 2017. She says she is homeless and is in priority need because she has a dependent child.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

To remedy the injustice caused to Miss X, the Council has agreed to:

  • apologise to Miss X for its failure to take a homelessness application and provide her with interim accommodation and the significant injustice this caused to her and her child;
  • pay Miss X £3,500 for the injustice it caused in the 10 months she sofa surfed. This is £350 a month and is consistent with our guidance on remedies;
  • confirm it will offer Miss X suitable accommodation in the local area by 3 October 2018 as it agreed to do;
  • take a homelessness application and provide Miss X with a decision and review rights. If it agrees it owes Miss X a duty it should backdate her housing register priority to 22 May 2017.

To remedy the service failures identified in this report the Council should review its procedures and:

  • tell us what action it will take to ensure it takes a homelessness application as soon as someone approaches it as homeless;
  • tell us what action it will take to ensure it meets its legal duties to find accommodation for homeless applicants; and
  • provide evidence that it is fulfilling its duties to homeless applicants who have approached it after 3 April 2018.

Ombudsman satisfied with Council's response: 18 February 2019.

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