18 July 2018

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman report

The council has apologised after being found at fault by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) of causing injustice to a mother and her son housed in temporary accommodation.

A report published by the Ombudsman today (18 July) upholds three out of five complaints made by the resident involved.

The council has already fully accepted and carried out all the recommendations made by the Ombudsman.

The report will be considered by the council’s Audit and Standards Committee on 24 July and the committee will make a formal response to the Ombudsman.

Councillor Anne Meadows, chair of the council’s Housing and New Homes Committee, said: “We fully accept the Ombudsman’s findings and recommendations. We’re extremely sorry for the distress caused in this case and have apologised to the family involved.

“We’re taking action to ensure lessons are learnt from the mistakes made in this case and procedures are improved.”

The council has carried out the Ombudsman’s recommendations, as follows:

  • An apology has been made to the complainant
  • She has been paid £750 to recognise the injustice caused by its decision to leave her and her son in unsuitable temporary accommodation between July and September 2016
  • Plus £100 for the six months it took to reimburse storage charges
  • And £150 to recognise the time and trouble caused by its delay and poor handling of her complaint

The family moved to a permanent council home in September 2016.

Cllr Meadows added: “There is a shortage of temporary housing in the city and, while it is no excuse, there was particular pressure at the time of the complaint was made.  A large number of homes we leased from a private landlord were no longer available to us and staff were working to find new homes for families from all those properties.”

Copies of the Ombudsman’s report are available from Hove Town Hall reception in Norton Road.