Mum paid £1,600 after Greenwich Council mistake left her 3-bed house with 7 people

Greenwich Council has been asked to pay a mother £1,600 for poor communication when handling her housing case. She lived in an “extremely overcrowded” property with her child.

The authority was criticized in a recent report for its handling of a housing case, in which a mother had her housing register incorrectly changed and was not informed of the changes.

A report from the Local Government and Social Services Ombudsman says the mother, named Miss X in the decision notice, and her child moved in with relatives in 2021 due to a change in their circumstances. The three-bedroom property was described as “severely overcrowded” by the ombudsman as seven people lived there.

Greenwich Council would then have accepted a homelessness mission for Miss X and given her reasonable housing preference given her current overcrowded home. The authority then sent a letter to the mother in December that year, informing her that she had terminated her role because she had refused an offer of temporary accommodation. The letter would not confirm whether his priority housing band had changed as a result.

Miss She expressed her frustration and said she felt this case was affecting her and her child. The authority reportedly recognized this and asked the mother to continue bidding on the properties.

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The authority apologized to Miss X for the distress and anxiety caused by the way her case was handled.(Image: Joe Coughlan)

The council confirmed Miss X was still in the priority housing bracket and was eligible for a two-bedroom house. The mother was then shortlisted as the first bidder for a property in April 2023 and informed the council.

The report said the authority initially confirmed Miss X had been successful in her offer, but later said she was no longer successful. The authority later confirmed she had been shortlisted and said an offer letter for the house would be sent to her.