Ms C, a housing support officer, applied for a community care grant on behalf of Mr A. Mr A had recently been allocated an unfurnished tenancy after a relationship breakdown which resulted in a period of sofa surfing between friends and family.
In their initial decision the council declined the application on the basis that he did not meet the qualifying criteria relating to homelessness. They stated that he had refused an offer of temporary accommodation, did not have vulnerabilities and had no housing support in place. The council added that the issues he faced were primarily financial. This decision was upheld at first tier review.
Ms C asked this office for an independent review of the council’s decision. We considered the facts and circumstances of the case and spoke with Ms C for further information. We noted that Mr A suffered from mental health issues and seizures which required significant medication. He also had on-going housing support in place to establish his tenancy. Lastly, we considered that accepting temporary accommodation was not a requirement of the qualifying conditions. We disagreed that Mr A did not meet the criteria relating to homelessness (covered in sections 8.12 to 8.14 of the guidance) and instructed the council to make an award. We recorded that the council had incorrectly interpreted the available information and also provided feedback about their written communication.