Oxford CC (00/B/17320)
In 1993 the council accepted a homelessness application from 'Mr and Mrs Abdullah' and their adult daughter, 'Fatima' (not their real names for legal reasons). In 1995 the council removed Fatima from the family's application. It cannot now explain why it did this. Fatima should not have been removed from the application because she continued to live with her parents. As a result of Fatima's removal from the application, the family lost their eligibility for a two bedroom property, and became eligible only for a one bedroom property.
In 1996 the council offered the family permanent accommodation in a one bedroom bungalow, saying this was their maximum entitlement. The family did not know Fatima had been removed from their application, so they reluctantly accepted the offer of the bungalow. Since then, the three adults have lived in overcrowded conditions in the one bedroom bungalow.
The ombudsman finds maladministration causing injustice and recommends that the Council should:
-- offer the family the next suitable two bedroom home becoming available to the council in the family's areas of choice;
-- make them an ex gratia payment of£5,500;
-- if the offer of a suitable home does not immediately become available, make further ex gratia payments at the rate of£1,000 per annum from the date of this report; and
-- review its housing management arrangements to ensure that the maladministration identified does not, as far as possible, recur.
Findings of no maladministration
Reading BC (99/B/3564 & 5735)
Social services for adults
'Mr Tudor' (not his real name for legal reasons) complained that there were procedural errors in the way that an assessment of his mother's mental health was conducted. The assessment led to the decision that there were no grounds for her compulsory admission to hospital.
Mr Tudor also complained about comments allegedly made by the council to third parties after the substantive complaint had been considered under the council's complaints procedure.
The ombudsman finds no maladministration by the council.