Heather Jameson 15 July 2020

Mistakes on homelessness are making matters worse, says Ombudsman

Mistakes on homelessness are making matters worse, says Ombudsman image

Problems with the way councils are meeting their housing duties are making things worse for homeless people, the Ombudsman found.

Analysing 50 cases it investigated after the Homeless Reduction Act was introduced – but before COVID-19 – the Ombudsman found problems with delays and poor communication made matters worse for those seeking help.

Ombudsman Michael King said: ‘Our cases show that while people are not being made homeless by councils failing to meet their new duties, their problems are compounded – and [they are] often left homeless for longer than they might have been, when councils do not get things right.’

‘While we do see evidence of good practice up and down the country, I would urge all councils with responsibility for housing people in need to read my report and assess whether they can learn from it to make improvements to their own services,’ he added.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said councils supported the principles of the Homeless Reduction Act but they have been hampered by a lack of funding.

LGA housing spokesperson, Cllr David Renard, said: ‘Councils need to be fully funded for service delivery and loss of income so that they can effectively deliver the Homelessness Reduction Act and keep people from experiencing homelessness.’

He called for the Government to remove the No Recourse to Public Funds condition during the pandemic, for a bank on ‘no fault’ evictions and for councils to be able to keep 100% of receipts from Right to Buy.

Pushing for real reform image

Pushing for real reform

The pandemic was a game changer for the central/local government relationship, says Joanne Roney, who has started her two-year stint as president of Solace.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Recruitment Day

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Social Worker - Recruitment DayPermanent, Full Time£30,906 - £42,254 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Learning Disabilities & Autism Team North

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Job summary and Responsibilities About the Role Working to support adults, and their families, who have complex social needs and are more vulnerab England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Commissioning Manager - SEND

Essex County Council
Up to £250 per day
Job PurposeCommissioning is a key function within ECC, working across the system to improve outcomes for Essex residents and bring about significant England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior CIL and S106 Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£33,543 - £46,962
We are looking for an exceptional candidate to fill a Senior role within the Information and Planning Obligations Team. London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Youth Justice Liaison & Diversion Worker

Barnet London Borough Council
£34,884 - £38,883 Per Annum
An exciting career opportunity has arisen for a full time enthusiastic and energetic Youth Justice Liaison & Diversion Worker to... London (Greater)
Recuriter: Barnet London Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue