Compensation paid following failure to make housing her a priority
Wandsworth Town Hall. Picture: Eugene Regis
Wandsworth Council has had to pay £2,000 to a homeless woman for delays which forced her to sleep at work.
Miss X said she had nowhere else to go so secretly slept at her workplace, an Ombudsman report revealed.
She complained Wandsworth Council made errors and caused delays in providing her with suitable temporary accommodation, causing her “distress and anxiety”.
Miss X presented as homeless in February 2019 but the council said she was not in priority need and put her in a refuge as she had nowhere to stay. By May, Miss X said she felt under threat at the refuge.
When Miss X was evicted from the refuge in August 2019 council officers again said she was not in priority need so did not offer her new accommodation and would only offer advice on housing options.
Miss X claims as she had nowhere else to go, she secretly slept at her work place.
Miss X turned to a homelessness charity, which contacted Wandsworth Council on her behalf in October 2019.
The charity said Miss X had given enough evidence to show she was eligible, homeless and in priority need.
Miss X stayed in a B&B from November 2019 but said it was unsuitable and left, before sofa surfing at friends’ homes.
The council eventually offered her alternative temporary accommodation in February 2020.
Miss X claimed she understood she could move into the home within two weeks, however it wasn’t ready until late April 2020 – two months later. Miss X is still in this accommodation and says it is suitable.
The Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman said, “The delays and failings in the way the council dealt with her homelessness application amount to fault. This fault has caused Miss X an injustice.
“The council has agreed to pay Miss X £2,000 to recognise the difficulties and distress and anxiety she experienced as a result of the delays and failings in the way the council dealt with her homelessness application.”
A Wandsworth Council spokesperson said: “We have accepted there were delays in providing permanent accommodation in this case but this applicant was offered suitable temporary accommodation up to that point, which on occasion she rejected.
“However in line with the Ombudsman’s findings we have agreed to pay her a sum of compensation.”
James Mayer - Local Democracy Reporter
Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact email@example.com and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.
January 21, 2022