Apology for homeless woman after ombudsman chastises council
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing
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Kingston upon Hull City Council has agreed to review its practices when dealing with homelessness applications following an investigation by the local government ombudsman (LGO).
The investigation was launched after a woman the council for help when she became homeless. She was offered a property but refused it because she felt it was unsuitable.
In response, the council wrote to the woman explaining that by rejecting the property she would be placed in a lower priority banding for properties and closed her homelessness application.
Though the LGO's investigation found that the council was not at fault for its explanation of what would happen should she reject the offer, it did find the local authority at fault for failing to give her the reasons for the decision, and for failing to explain that she had the right to appeal in the county court on a point of law.
The council has now agreed to provide the woman with a new decision on her homelessness review, giving her details of how she can appeal the decision to the county court, apologise and pay her £200 to recognise the injustice caused by its failings.
It has also concluded that its initial offer of accommodation was not suitable and it will therefore make the woman a fresh offer of suitable accommodation.
Since the LGO's decision, the council has checked its records and identified three other people similarly affected.