Report Date


Case Against

Cyngor Gwynedd


Applications. allocations. transfer and exchanges

Case Reference Number



Upheld in whole or in part

Ms A’s son was born prematurely with health issues, her relationship broke down and the jointly owned house had to be sold. On 31 May 2019 Ms A submitted a housing application with supporting financial documents to Gwynedd Council’s Housing Options Team. Ms A explained that her house was marketed for sale and a similar property sold within 4 weeks. She said that alternative housing would prevent her being homeless and forwarded the Health Visitor and GP’s medical evidence about her mental health and her son’s medical condition. On 2 August Ms A was assessed by the Council’s Homeless Unit and it was decided that a duty was owed to prevent homelessness. Ms A called the Council several times about a new housing development. She became aware that the Housing Options Team had not passed her son’s medical evidence to the Homeless Unit, which she forwarded on 1 October. On 1 October the Council issued a letter under s68 Housing Act 2014, a duty to secure interim accommodation.

The Ombudsman found that the Council failed to properly consider and assess Ms A’s housing application in line with relevant law and guidance. Had this happened and had the medical information she had supplied been sent to the Council’s Homeless Unit in a timely manner, it was possible she may have been issued with the notification of duty under s68 sooner. In turn, had the medical information been forwarded sooner this could have led to Ms A being placed in higher housing band earlier. The Ombudsman found that the Council’s complaint response had failed to identify the failings and so had not been appropriate. These aspects of the complaints were upheld.

The Ombudsman found that the Council had appropriately, and in a timely way, provided Ms A with financial help to meet the deposit and a month’s rent in advance to secure a private rented home. This aspect of the complaint was not upheld. The Council agreed to implement the Ombudsman’s recommendations to, within 1 month, apologise to Ms A for the identified failings, make redress payments of £250 to recognise the failings and £250 for Ms A’s time and trouble in pursuing her complaint. The Council agreed within 3 months to arrange external refresher training on the threshold for considering housing applications, to review communication between its Housing Options Team and the Homeless Unit and to undertake a sample review of housing applications for the last 6 months to check whether any other similar applications had not been considered appropriately.