Council to reconsider how it allocates housing following Ombudsman investigation
East Lindsay District Council has been asked to review its housing allocations policy to ensure it meets its equality duties, following an investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman looked at the council’s policy after a couple complained they had been barred from joining the housing register because they did not have a connection to the area. This was despite wanting to provide care to an elderly relative who lived there.
The Ombudsman’s investigation found the council’s policy did not meet the requirements of the Public Sector Equality Duty. This is because the policy does not consider the needs of people with disabilities when excluding caregivers from qualifying for a local connection.
Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, yesterday said:
“While councils have some freedom to decide the criteria on who qualifies for their housing register, they must also act in line with legal requirements in the Housing Act 1996, and cannot disqualify whole groups of people who would otherwise have priority.
“In this case the problems I have found meant the couple missed the opportunity to have their application considered properly. And because there is a high number of older people living in the district, this may have also unfairly affected other people too.
“I am pleased the council has agreed to examine its policy in light of my findings and reconsider the couple’s application.”
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s role is to remedy injustice and share learning from investigations to help improve public, and adult social care, services. In this case the council should apologise to the couple and reconsider their application.
The Ombudsman has the power to make recommendations to improve processes for the wider public. In this case the council should review its allocations scheme. Once it has completed its review it should identify and review those cases since October 2019 where it has refused applications on similar grounds.
Latest News from
Draft Public Service Ombudsman Bill laid in Parliament05/12/2016 12:37:21
A new complaints body will provide the public with greater confidence that their voices have been heard.
Sheffield boy misses out on full-time secondary school education because of council faults06/11/2020 09:15:00
A Sheffield boy with special educational needs has missed out on much of his senior schooling because the city council did not provide suitable alternative education for him, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.
NHS continuing healthcare failing to provide care for most vulnerable, says Ombudsman05/11/2020 14:15:00
Vulnerable people with complex care needs are footing the bill for care that should be covered by the NHS, according to a new report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).
Autistic boy denied parking bay by Tower Hamlets29/10/2020 16:15:00
A young boy with autism, and his family, were denied a parking bay outside their house by London Borough of Tower Hamlets, despite him receiving the highest rate of Disability Living Allowance for his mobility, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.
Man left without support to access the community after Westminster council reduced his care hours23/10/2020 11:15:00
A visually impaired Westminster man did not have the help he needed for 14 months after the city council reduced his support package, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman found.
Windrush applicant left ‘worthless, broken, with no hope or prospects’21/10/2020 14:15:00
Ombudsman finds failings at UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as Windrush claimant waited over a year before getting a decision.
Harrow to improve Blue Badge assessments following Ombudsman investigation15/10/2020 14:15:00
A London council has been criticised by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman for the way it assesses disabled people’s requests for two different transport schemes.
Council should apologise for tree controversy, Ombudsman says14/10/2020 14:15:00
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has asked Sheffield City Council to make a public apology to the people of the city after numerous problems were found with the way it removed street trees.