Facing the Facts

R (on the application of Hoyte) v London Borough of Southwark [2016] EWHC 1665 Admin is a useful decision of the High Court on the subject of repeat homelessness applications. Ms Hoyte is a 58 year old woman with a history of mental health problems and a diagnosis of major depressive disorder, who had been […]

Gatekeeping special

This has been quite a week for issues about Local Authorities gatekeeping homeless applications coming to the fore. This post addresses practices and policies of three councils. Eastbourne BC, LB Haringey and Bournemouth BC. Eastbourne BC Eastbourne’s conduct of a homeless application was the subject of this Local Government Ombudsman decision. Quite unusually, the Ombudsman […]

Got needs that need assessing

Smajlaj, R (on the application of) v London Borough of Waltham Forest [2016] EWHC 1240 (Admin) What is the extent of the duty under section 192 Housing Act 1996? This duty, owed to those who are homeless and eligible, not intentionally homeless, but not in priority need, has tended to amount to little more than […]

Homelessness eligibility – revisions underway

The following note appeared on the Doughty Street Chambers site. Anyone with clients (or applicants) in a similar position – in particular leave to remain granted under Appendix FM of the immigration Rules – should take note. The DCLG has indicated that those granted Article 8 ‘leave to remain’ (and have recourse to public fund) […]

Questions and Answers

O, R (on the application of) v London Borough of Lambeth [2016] EWHC 937 (Admin) A judicial review of a decision on a s.17 Children Act 1989 assessment of a homeless, non-eligible family. The issues were the extent of investigations required, and legitimate conclusions to be drawn from a lack of information provided. The claim […]

Foxtons declare war on the homeless

The London Evening Standard has a story which is simultaneously unsurprising yet startling in its blatancy. A landlord had entered an agreement to let the property through CityWest Homes – Westminster Council’s housing entity. This was the private letting arm of CityWest. As I have been informed, in this instance the proposed CityWest tenant would not […]

Corrections, omissions, blusters

Several notes/rantlets* There will be a new prescribed Section 8 Notice Seeking Possession in force from 6 April 2016. The regulations and new form 3 can be found here. This is a prescribed form, so must be used. A ‘where we are now’ story on homelessness involving a certain very central London Council came out […]

Scenes from a disaster

The Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee has begun an enquiry into homelessness. The written submissions from Councils, charities, campaigners, professional organisations and others are a stark illustration of a homeless system that is, at least in some areas, in complete crisis – overwhelmed, unable to cope with rapidly rising demand, let alone provide […]

Is a mere roof enough?

Niema Abdusemed v Lambeth LBC (2016) QBD (Admin) (Ouseley J) 19/02/2016 (Not on Bailli yet. On lawtel as note of extempore judgment). An application for interim relief in a judicial review of Lambeth’s refusal to provide interim accommodation pending review of the claimant’s homeless application, but one that leaves me thinking (or perhaps hoping) that there […]

Failing on systematic failings

Edwards & Ors, R (on the application of) v Birmingham City Council [2016] EWHC 173 (Admin) This was a quite extraordinary judicial review (or rather four joined judicial review claims with another 16 cases put in evidence in support) in which what was in the end at stake was not any remedy for the individual […]