Great news – the Ombudsman launches an investigation!
Today saw the launch of the Ombudsman’s investigation into:
1) How councils in Wales are deciding whether someone is homeless
2) What the council has done to help homeless people during the coronavirus outbreak
Nick Bennett, the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales has legal powers to investigate complains about public services and independent care providers in Wales. He can also look into complaints about breaches in codes of conduct from local government bodies. He is completely independent from all government bodies and he provides an independent service. We, at TPAS Cymru have worked in partnership with the Ombudsman as we share the same passion in ensuring positive change.
On September 1st, the Ombudsman was given new powers in the revised Housing Ombusman Scheme which aims to improve awareness, accessibility and speed up complain resolution. We are delighted that this investigation into housing was at the top of the agenda. With there being such a high risk of people losing their jobs and their income, there couldn’t be a more important time to drive service improvement.
The Welsh Government have a phased plan to end homelessness; with Registered Social Landlords committing to no evictions into homelessness, a commitment from Local Authorities to resolve the current issues relating to homelessness and to drive real change in Wales is welcomed.
Nick Bennett, Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, said:
“Homeless people are always vulnerable – but in the midst of a pandemic – where a home is the first line of defence they are particularly at risk. The powers voted to me by the Senedd were intended to give a voice to the voiceless. It is difficult to think of a more marginal and voiceless group at the current time.
“The Welsh Government’s phased plan to end homelessness in Wales, together with the commitment shown by Local Authorities to seek to resolve the issues associated with homelessness represents a real opportunity to create a more equal Wales for future generations.
“Following a long wait to acquire own initiative investigation powers, I am eager to use them in a ‘real time’ situation to drive service improvement.”
The consultation can be found here https://www.ombudsman.wales/own-initiative-investigations-consultation-documents/?emergency=1