Equalities on the 14th floor

Chatokai v Salford City Council. Manchester Civil Justice Centre, 11 April 2017 (Not reported elsewhere) This was a s.204 Housing Act 1996 appeal of Salford’s review decision that Mr C was not homeless. The central issue was whether Salford’s review officer had adequately addressed her public sector equality duty under s.149 Equality Act 2010. Brief […]

Just too much effort… Barnet and homeless applications

The Local Government Ombudsman has issued a quite withering decision on a complaint about Barnet Council’s failure to make a formal decision on repeated homeless applications by a homeless woman. The woman became homeless in January 2015 after eviction by a private landlord and approached Barnet. Barnet provided her with a place in a hostel for […]

Andy Gale, misuse and me. FAO housing options officers

[Update 20/03/17 – Locata have come back to me again and are changing the relevant wording in the toolkit. The issue is resolved.] I didn’t want to have to write this, but sadly I have to, to protect my and our own position here on NL. Because Andy Gale (known to many in homelessness services) and […]

World enough and time – suitability, distance and time

Barakate v LB Brent. County Court at Central London. 16 October 2016 (copy of judgment) A section 204 Housing Act 1996 appeal of the suitability of LB Brent’s offer of private sector accommodation to Mr B of a property in Birmingham. Mr B, his wife and three daughters were in temporary accommodation in Brent, a […]

More on housing costs for those under 22.

Following on from my rantlette on Saturday, some further light (and indeed fog) has been shed on the Govt proposals to remove the housing costs element of universal credit from those under 22 and how it is envisaged to work. John Healey MP, Shadow Housing Minister tabled an urgent question in the Commons today (Tuesday). […]

Medley

Here are various bits and pieces, while we await big cases such as the Supreme Court decision in Poshteh v RB Kensington & Chelsea. (You can watch the hearing here.) We don’t usually promote events on Nearly Legal, but I am happy to make an exception for this one. Cornerstone Barristers are hosting the inaugural […]

Failings and functions

BBC News reported on the effect of the Retaliatory Eviction provisions in the Deregulation Act, some 16 months on. A large scale FOI request produced the result that only 19% of councils had recorded stopping even 1 retaliatory eviction through service of an Improvement Notice or Emergency Remedial Action Notice. This does not come as […]

Costs and inquiries – homelessness appeals

The London Borough of Croydon v Lopes [2017] EWHC 33 (QB) Costs on settled s.204 Housing Act 1996 appeals – the issue that never goes away. The latest instalment also brings with it some rather sharp findings by the Court of Appeal on the extent of inquiries the council should have made. Ms Lopes had […]

Suitability and PSED

London Borough of Hackney v Haque [2017] EWCA Civ 4 In which the Court of Appeal grapple with the application of the Public Sector Equality Duty to decisions on suitability of accommodation provided under s.193 Housing Act 1996 (in satisfaction of the full housing duty). Hackney had accepted a full housing duty to Mr Haque […]

What Westminster did next. Sending the homeless to Coventry

As has been reported here and here, Westminster City Council have decided to adopt various new housing policies. In particular, there are new proposed policies on temporary accommodation and permanent accommodation offers for homeless households. The documents can be found here. The new ‘policy framework’ will mean the following: For both temporary accommodation AND private sector […]