A North London council threatened to remove a disabled dad from the housing register if he didn’t accept a one-bed house, despite claims he needed a second room due to his medical condition.

The dad claimed that failures by the council meant he was unable to apply for a home that suits his needs, which left him in unsuitable accommodation which affected his mental health.

An investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) concluded that Brent Council should apologise and pay compensation.

It all started after the man was awarded a two-bed home by the council in 2020 on medical grounds as he had mobility difficulties. At the time, his daughter was under 21, however, when she turned 21, her dad would only be able to bid for one-bed houses.

In November 2021, his daughter asked the council to allow him to apply for a two-bed house as he needed an orthopaedic bed, shower and other disability facilities, which require lots of space.

An assessment by an occupational therapist recommended an extra bedroom to provide space for wheelchair access and any future equipment that may be needed. However, the council’s medical advisor disregarded the assessment and said an additional bed-room was “not necessary”.

Following a review of the decision, the LGO report claims the council told the dad that he had “not provided evidence he had a life-threatening condition which was seriously affected by his current housing”.

The council also said his daughter “could continue to provide the same level of care to him in a one-bedroom property and there was no evidence she needed to live with him in the same accommodation”, according to the report.

A further review in March 2022 reached the same conclusion, however, they failed to tell the dad about the decision until June, despite his daughter continuing to chase the council. In October, Brent Council told the man that if he didn’t accept a one-bed house within the next six months, he would have to accept whatever it offered or his case could be closed.

The LGO investigator was “concerned” about the council’s “unreasonable” response. The report said: “The council’s allocations policy does not say if the council subsequently makes a direct offer of suitable accommodation and the applicant does not accept that direct offer it will then close the application.”

The report also states that the council “did not discuss the medical equipment reasons for a second bedroom and instead only referred to whether Mr B’s daughter needed to stay overnight in the accommodation to provide him with care”.

The council was required to apologise to the dad and his daughter, as well as paying them £100 in compensation for the time and trouble pursuing the complaint, and remind officers of the options open to them when managing applications.

A Brent Council spokesperson said: "We have already implemented the recommendations by Ombudsman. The council sincerely apologises for our shortcomings in this case and hope this won’t happen again. We regret that failings in our processes resulted in Mr B, a Brent resident experiencing a delay in his housing application, which had not been updated correctly. We subsequently worked closely with the resident to ensure that all his needs were met, and paid him compensation for the time and trouble. He has now been successfully rehoused."