A four party judicial review of the Benefit Cap – now under pilot in 4 boroughs and to be rolled out in October – was issued today (Wednesday 22 May). Details are here.
The claimants argue that the Regulations are discriminatory and unreasonable. They also argue that the Secretary of State did not take proper account of the impact of the policy on women, children, the disabled, racial and religious minorities, and carers when formulating the policy.
I have also heard that permission was granted today by Collins J, on the basis that the claims were clearly arguable and urgent.
Meanwhile, judgment is awaited in the bedroom tax Judicial … Read the full post
This a late note on OR -v- Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Isle of Anglesey CC  UKUT 065 (AAC) because, bluntly, I had read it quickly at the time and overlooked its broader significance.
The issue was whether OR could receive housing benefit for his stays in a night shelter hostel. The First Tier Tribunal had held that a hostel was a dwelling for the purposes of the housing benefit regulations, because the regulations said it was. However, the First Tier found that OR was not occupying it as his home.
On appeal to the Upper Tribunal, this was found to be wrong. While the regulations … Read the full post
Just to note that the 10 joined bedroom tax Judicial Review claims (for initial details see our note) are listed for full hearing on Wednesday to Friday next week (15-17 May). The claims involve a range of challenges to the regulations involving disabled adults, disabled children and children unable to share rooms for other reasons.
More details as soon as we get them.… Read the full post
In which two [now confirmed as four] Housing Associations behave very badly in anticipation of the benefit cap.
Haringey is one of the pilot boroughs for the benefit cap, limiting the total amount of benefit, including housing benefit/LHA (and astonishingly Child Benefit) that any household can receive to £500 per week. The prospective effects of the benefit cap on housing provision and the homeless have become apparent in the astonishing actions of two [now three] Housing Associations.
First up, and in Haringey, Genesis. The Guardian reported on ‘eviction letters’ being send to Genesis tenants because of the benefit cap. Although it isn’t clear from the report, I’ve established that these … Read the full post
Now that was a busy day on the Bedroom Tax front, complete with a parliamentary statement, new DWP Guidance to Local Authorities, rumours and conjecture.
Let us start with the definite bits.
The new Guidance on disabled children unable to share a bedroom. The text of the guidance, HB/CTB U2/2013 is at the end of this post, in full. The upshot is that the DWP is withdrawing its appeal against Burnip (or specifically against the finding in Gorry, the linked case) and accepts that LHA and Housing Benefit should pay for an ‘additional’ bedroom where that bedroom is required because of a child’s disability preventing them from sharing … Read the full post
Disabled children – “exempt” from the bedroom tax?
At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday [6 March 2013] David Cameron claimed that “anyone with severely disabled children is exempt from the spare room subsidy”, more commonly known as the “bedroom tax”. Leaving to one side the semantics around the changes to housing benefit due in April (the official title is the “social sector under-occupancy penalty”), this would be a welcome exception indeed. Unfortunately it doesn’t stand up to closer scrutiny. The Government is in fact fighting tooth and nail through the courts to ensure that no such exemption applies.
Under the new regulations which come into force in April, tenants in … Read the full post
Just a quick post to note that a Judicial Review of the bedroom tax regulations was apparently issued on Friday 1 March 2013. From this report, it appears that the grounds are along the lines of Burnip, as I suggested here, in that the basis is discrimination against children not able to share a bedroom through disability, with the addition of arguing that some are unable to share a bedroom 'because they are at risk of violence from a sibling, or because of the trauma they have experienced as a result of abuse and domestic violence'.
The cases are apparently being run by Rebekkah Carrier of Hopkin … Read the full post