Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (23 002 077)

Category : Housing > Homelessness

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 15 Feb 2024


Key to names used

  • Mr X The complainant


Mr X complained that the Council delayed in dealing with his homelessness application and failed to offer interim accommodation when he was fleeing domestic abuse. Mr X says he has been street homeless and without safe accommodation for longer than necessary.


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)

We recommend within three months of the date of this report the Council take the following actions.

  • Send a written apology to Mr X to acknowledge the uncertainty and distress caused to him by the delay in issuing its decision to accept the prevention duty and personalised housing plan (PHP) and the failure to recognise he was personally connected to the alleged perpetrator of abuse. We publish guidance on remedies which sets out our expectations for how organisations should apologise effectively to remedy injustice. The organisation should consider this guidance when making the apology we have recommended in our findings.
  • Make a symbolic payment of £300 to Mr X to acknowledge the distress and uncertainty caused to him.
  • By training or other means, ensure officers are aware of the definition of ‘personally connected’ and meaning of ‘relatives’ as set out in section 63 of the Family Law Act 1996.
  • If it has not already done so, review the homelessness duty owed to Mr X and notify him of the decision and his rights to seek a review of that decision.
  • Send written apologies to the applicants affected by the delays in issuing PHPs. In making the apologies the Council should have regard to our guidance on remedies which sets out our expectations for how organisations should apologise effectively.
  • Draw up an action plan, with clear timescales, for reducing the number of applicants waiting for a PHP and ensuring PHPs are issued without delay. The Council should provide a quarterly report to the relevant committee to ensure democratic oversight.

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