NHAS adviser helps local Citizens Advice client with mobility issues and PTSD into accommodation
Posted by Natalie Pearson 16/10/20
Our free advice line provides specialist advice on housing, housing debt and welfare benefit issues to help you support your clients. One of our advisers recently helped a a Local Citizens Advice worker in achieving accommodation support for a single man with mobility issues and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
What was the problem?
A Local Citizens Advice worker had an issue with a single male client with mobility issues and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a motor accident. He had been living in temporary accommodation provided by the Local Authority who had accepted a main housing duty following a homelessness application.
Whilst in the temporary accommodation the client was the victim of an aggravated burglary and serious assault, in a case of mistaken identity. He subsequently received threats to his life as he was a key witness in the trial of the perpetrators. The Local Authority moved him to new temporary accommodation for safety reasons, but he was again tracked down and fled in fear of his life. The Local Authority decided that he had made himself intentionally homeless and ended their duty.
Following a spell of sofa-surfing the client approached the Local Authority again to make a new homelessness application. A short spell of interim accommodation was provided, but the Local Authority made an intentionally homeless decision and gave the client two days’ notice to leave the interim accommodation, also refusing to provide accommodation pending review.
What we did
Our adviser was able to discuss the case with the agency gathering background details and documentation the client had received in order to fully understand the situation.
We advised the agency on the correct process for reviewing a negative homelessness decision, including the need to send detailed submissions in support of the review. We were able to advise on the process for requesting accommodation pending review and the potential to engage a local solicitor to threaten judicial review in order to support this application. Our adviser provided detailed advice on ‘Intentional Homelessness’ and the possible challenges to any such decision.
The Local Citizens Advice worker contacted us again to let us know that they had threatened judicial review for refusing the accommodation pending review and pointed out the serious flaws in their handling of the application, with a threat to seek compensation if they rendered him street homeless/sofa surfing again. The Local Authority subsequently retracted the notice, agreed to continue the accommodation, and agreed that there had been mistakes made and are now revisiting their decision.