Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Ombudsman's finding of fault
Cabinet received a report of the Group Head of Democracy and Governance reporting a decision of the Ombudsman relating to a housing complaint.
Councillor Johnson, Portfolio Holder for Housing, was invited to introduce the report. He referred members to the Head of Housing’s comments within the report at paragraph 4.7. The housing service had accepted all of the Ombudsman’s recommendations. The Ombudsman’s report had provided some clarity on some areas that were ambiguous.
Councillor Johnson added that the service was reviewing the Nominations Policy and it was hoped the new version would be ready by September 2021. The application process had changed in 2018 and each individual in a couple completed their own online application, but were then treated as a couple through the process.
Councillor Johnson noted that between April 2018 and 2020 there had been 17 complaints to the Ombudsman about housing matters and only one of these had been upheld. The service apologised for what had happened and the complainant was happy with the outcome.
Councillor Bell was pleased to note that the service had accepted responsibility and were reviewing the Nominations Policy. He commented that housing was a common issue in his casework. It was important that the service acted correctly. Many residents did not understand the housing process. He was concerned that there would be many more people approaching the council for housing support once the pandemic was over.
Councillor Johnson acknowledged the councillor’s comments and said the service wanted to be as accessible as possible. The Nominations Policy would be discussed and developed over the next nine months at Housing Policy Advisory Group and encouraged members to get involved and help to make the process as simple as possible for residents.
that the Ombudsman’s decision be noted.
Report author: Carol Chen
Publication date: 27/01/2021
Date of decision: 18/01/2021
Decided at meeting: 18/01/2021 - Cabinet