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Case study

  • Date:
    June 2017
  • Category:
    Homelessness qualifying criterion


Ms C applied to the council for a community care grant in order to obtain white goods and basic furniture. The applicant had moved into an unfurnished private let after a period of approximately three years sofa-surfing.
The council assessed that the applicant did not meet the homelessness qualifying criteria as she was not in receipt of on-going support to sustain her tenancy. They also assessed that Ms C was not under exceptional pressure. This decision was upheld at first tier.
Ms C applied to SPSO for an independent review. We agreed with the council's assessment that at the time of her application the applicant was not in receipt of tenancy support, in line with s8.12 to 8.13 of the Guidance. However, it became apparent during the independent review that the applicant had been referred to a third sector agency who were now providing the required tenancy support. We therefore assessed that the applicant now met the homeless criteria. It also became apparent that the applicant's homelessness had begun when she had suffered a nervous breakdown, having fled from a situation of domestic abuse involving her ex-partner and her children, who are now in a kinship care arrangement. We acknowledged that the commencement of tenancy support was technically a change in circumstances, however, with the agreement of the council's SWF team we upheld Ms C's review request on the basis of new information rather than asking her to make a new application. Ms C was awarded a sofa, a fridge, a bed and mattress, and a cooker.

Updated: July 17, 2019