Mr C applied to the Council for a Community Care Grant for household items as he had been offered a tenancy of his own following a period of homelessness.
At initial decision, the council noted that Mr C was in temporary accommodation for only a month, and there were no other records of him staying in B&B accommodation or claiming benefits at another address. As a result, the council considered that he did not meet the criteria relating to homeless or any other qualifying criteria to be awarded a grant. They refused the application and upheld their original decision following the applicant’s first tier review request.
Mr C applied to the SPSO for an independent Review of the Council's decision. We took into account all the relevant facts and circumstances, including that Mr C had been homeless for a number of years, staying between family and friends. We noted that he said he was not able to stay in temporary accommodation as this impacted on his ability to see his son. We considered that the lack of basic items in the tenancy was impacting on his ability to share caring responsibilities for his son. We also took into account that he had mental health and substance misuse in arriving at our assessment that that he was facing more pressure than living on a low income alone. We determined that a grant would help him to establish a settled home and he therefore met the qualifying criteria relating to exceptional pressure (covered in 8.14-8.15 of the guidance). We assessed that the council’s decision was not supported by the guidance and awarded all the items requested at Independent Review as they met the council’s priority level.