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Medway Council (20 004 585)

Category : Housing > Homelessness

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 23 Feb 2021

Summary: Ms E complained about the way the Council dealt with her homelessness.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

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

  • apologise to Ms E and her son Mr F;
  • decide whether Ms E is owed the full housing duty and issue a written decision on her homelessness application;
  • decide whether Mr F is owed any duty or service under the Children Act 1989 and provide that service. If the Council decides Mr F is not owed any duty under the Children Act 1989, it should go on to consider if it owes Mr F any duty under the Housing Act 1996;
  • pay Ms E and Mr F £1,500 each to reflect the avoidable distress and hardship caused by being homeless and sleeping in a tent for almost two months; and
  • pay Ms E an additional £200 to reflect the avoidable inconvenience and time and trouble of not being listened to when reporting street homelessness on several occasions
  • provide refresher training for staff in the housing allocations and housing options teams to ensure officers are competent to identify information from potential applicants which triggers the duties in sections 184, 188 and 189 of the Housing Act 1996.

Ombudsman satisfied with Council's response: 2 June 2021.

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