A WOMAN on the housing register who was caused “distress” and “worry” after “significant” blunders by housing bosses has received an apology and compensation from the council.

An investigation from the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) watchdog found the woman was let down by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s (RBWM) poor record-keeping and a new housing policy in her three-year search for social housing.

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The LGO also said RBWM’s failure to let those on the housing register know how the new policy would affect them may also “cause injustice to others.”

A spokeswoman from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead said: “We are very sorry for issues experienced by this resident.

Royal Borough Observer:

“Since this problem arose we have been working hard to implement new systems to ensure this type of error cannot happen again.”

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The woman joined RBWM’s housing register in June 2016 and was given the second-highest priority for housing need, but bosses later said they did not know why she was given this designation.

Less than one year later she was told she was at the top of the list for a housing allocation.

Royal Borough Observer:

She was offered properties to move into but by June 2018 she had not been housed.

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In December 2018 the authority introduced its new allocations policy, which forces applicants to re-register for housing annually.

Investigators at the LGO claim RBWM did not tell existing applicants about this change, and in January 2019 the woman was told by council bosses she was no longer on the housing register as the authority had deleted her file.

Royal Borough Observer:

She re-applied and was re-admitted to the housing register in March 2019, moving into interim accommodation shortly after.

Despite this, the woman complained about the council’s process in allocating her and the LGO found RBWM’s poor record-keeping amounted to “significant fault”.

The watchdog claimed because of the lack of records and because of the lack of information about the new housing register policy, the woman was caused “distress and uncertainty”.

As a result, RBWM provided the woman with a written apology for its “poor level of communication” and paid her £300 for the “distress and uncertainty” she was caused.