- Mr X The complainant
Mr X complained about how the Council dealt with his homelessness application in 2020 and his resulting complaint about this.
Fault found causing injustice and recommendations made.
The Council must consider the report and confirm within three months the action it has taken or proposes to take. The Council should consider the report at its full Council, Cabinet or other appropriately delegated committee of elected members and we will require evidence of this. (Local Government Act 1974, section 31(2), as amended)
To remedy the injustice caused, we recommend the Council:
apologises to Mr X for the faults identified and the impact those faults had on him; and
pays Mr X a total of £2,600 comprising of:
£2,100 to recognise the avoidable distress and risk of harm caused to him for the six months he was street homeless;
£400 to recognise the avoidable distress caused to him for the four months he had to live outside the Council’s area and be housed by another council; and
- £100 to recognise the avoidable time and trouble he spent pursuing his complaint from January 2021 to June 2022 when the Council issued its final response.
We also recommend the Council:
ensures a copy of this report is shared with the Mayor’s cabinet member with portfolio responsibility for Development and Housing;
reviews its procedures for homelessness referrals, and issues reminders to relevant staff, to ensure it meets its statutory duties for homelessness applicants, within the required timescales; and
- issues reminders to relevant staff about Government guidance, and the Council’s policy, about the contact attempts it should make to a homelessness applicant before it closes their case based on having ‘lost contact’.
The Council has accepted our recommendations.