Outcomes - Selected Case Summaries



Benefits Policy for Elderly Residents

Investigation | 06 March 2020
Needs Assessment Unit (NAU)

The complainant alleged several policy violations by the NAU regarding the level of public housing and other welfare support she was receiving at the time. She stated that the NAU was denying her the additional financial assistance for rental support that she was due as an elderly and disabled person and had improperly cancelled her financial support for temporary hotel accommodation. Owing to her age and state of health, she was deemed to be at high risk should she contract COVID-19, and she was left homeless sleeping in her car.

We acted quickly, given the health risks to the complainant. The complainant was able to locate suitable public housing within about five to six weeks of making her complaint.

The Ombudsman found that the complainant was eligible for additional public housing support, partly because the NAU’s written policies did not provide any specific criteria allowing it to deny the additional support. We also found that the NAU could have explained its decision better.

We recommended that the NAU review and update its public housing policies regarding elderly and indigent clients. We also reminded the NAU of the requirement to provide written reasons for its decisions under section 19 of the Constitution Order 2009, Bill of Rights. We are monitoring the NAU’s progress with the implementation of our recommendations.