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Case study

  • Date:
    August 2017
  • Category:
    Priority washing machines for single people


Mr C applied for a community care grant for a cooker, a fridge freezer and a washing machine. He advised that he was moving from homeless accommodation to a new tenancy and could not afford these items.

The council assessed that Mr C was eligible for a grant and that he met the qualifying criteria; they awarded a cooker and a fridge. Their notes stated that they had assessed a washing machine was a low priority item. They did not provide an explanation regarding why a fridge was awarded instead of a fridge freezer, which is what had been applied for.  

Mr C applied to SPSO for an independent review. We disagreed with the assessment that the council made in respect of the washing machine and fridge freezer. We spoke with the applicant’s support worker who explained that Mr C had been released from prison and that they have supported Mr C whilst he was living in supported accommodation and through securing this tenancy. Mr C had been used to washing his clothing at home and also budgeting, buying in bulk and freezing meals. Mr C's support worker explained that Mr C suffers from mental ill health and struggles to leave his home. In addition, he was unable to access a launderette as due to the nature of his criminal offences there would be a risk. We took into account this information and changed the council's decision. We assessed that Mr C met the high priority for both a washing machine and fridge freezer and awarded both of these items in line with s5.5-5.6 of the guidance. We assessed that the council had made insufficient enquiries to make a robust decision and also provided feedback about their case recording and written communication.

Updated: July 26, 2019