Harlow couple refused move to two-bedroomed home despite medical needs

Health / Wed 11th Jan 2023 at 04:24pm

HARLOW council has been criticised for not allowing a couple who needed to sleep separately because of noisy medical equipment to bid for a two-bedroom home reports the Local Democracy Re

According to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, the Harlow couple needed to be rehoused after “Mrs M” was admitted to hospital, but required separate bedrooms because of the noise from oxygen equipment.

Harlow Council only granted them priority for a one bedroom flat, claiming an extra bedroom was not essential on specific medical grounds, an Ombudsman report said.

The council has apologised to the couple, paid them £200 and is now helping them find a two bedroom property.

A spokesperson said in a statement: “The council has implemented all the Ombudsman’s recommendations and is working with Mr and Mrs M on finding a suitable two bedroom property to meet their needs. An offer of a property was made before Christmas.

“We have apologised directly to Mr and Mrs M and have paid them £200 in recognition of the time and trouble caused by the faults identified. As a result of this complaint, the council has reviewed and updated its processes for allocating homes.”

After being admitted to hospital with a respiratory issues, Mrs M could not go back to live in her flat due to her reduced mobility, according to the report.

Applying to the council for housing, she and her husband said they needed a second bedroom because the disruption from Mrs M’s oxygen equipment would disturb Mr M’s sleep.

But the council only granted them medical priority to bid for a one-bedroom flat. The council’s housing allocations policy says people can only bid for one-bedroom properties but applicants with particular medical needs are exceptions to this rule, according to the report.

However, the policy also says people who need to accommodate live-in carers or who need to sleep separately because of a medical condition may bid for larger accommodation.

A section of the policy reads: “An applicant will only be entitled to a property with an additional bedroom if agreed by the senior officer in relation to a medical or social needs assessment.”

The Ombudsman criticised Harlow Council for only considering a “narrow medical need”, rather than the social need for a second bedroom.

It said  council records showed no evidence it considered this issue or that it asked the couple for more information. The council was at fault because its decision was based on partial information, the report said.

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6 Comments for Harlow couple refused move to two-bedroomed home despite medical needs:

William Warner
2023-01-11 16:42:39

I have be on the house list for 7 MTH because I can not walk up and down the stairs because of my medical dissemination and still no one as be in touch with me

2023-01-11 18:13:25

And yet a home in my old street with medical adaptions was given to a family who needed none and didn't even need three bedrooms. Something is very wrong here.

Ben Foster
2023-01-11 20:24:52

We have issues with mould and with adaptions there still on going due to over occupancy. Children have respiratory issues with ongoing infections but harlow council still do not do anything to support me and my family. They do not consider anything properly and very unprofessional. Still 4 people in one bedroom with ongoing issues yet they still do nothing.

2023-01-11 21:03:12

I’m on crutches long term after a horrendous accident. I have to walk up 6 flights of stairs to my property. It’s agony. They won’t move me. My mental health is suffering, my partner can’t help me.

2023-01-12 08:46:13

https://www.yourharlow.com/2023/01/11/property-geoffrey-matthew-two-bedroomed-home-in-the-rundells/ Now Harlow could buy this home out of the money from selling Council houses: reverse one of Maggie Thatcher milk snatchers policies that have put the nation where it is today, in chaos.

Hoof Hearted
2023-01-12 14:20:39

Clowncil. Oh dear.

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