Former housing officer at city council jailed for three years for fraud – Local Government Lawyer

Posted June 28th, 2016 in fraud, homelessness, housing, local government, news, sentencing by sally

‘A former senior housing needs officer at Birmingham City Council has been jailed for three years for fraud.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 27th June 2016

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

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Gatekeeping special – Nearly Legal

Posted June 6th, 2016 in homelessness, local government, news by sally

‘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.’

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Nearly Legal, 5th June 2016

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Got needs that need assessing – Nearly Legal

‘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 the Local Authority handing over a leaflet and/or list of letting agents. But this judicial review, unusually, involves a consideration of fulfilment of the duty.’

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Nearly Legal, 29th May 2016

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Questions and Answers – Nearly Legal

‘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.’

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Nearly Legal, 8th May 2016

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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High Court ruling on teenager who refused to live with her family ‘because they were not strict enough Muslims’ – Daily Telegraph

Posted March 17th, 2016 in children, families, homelessness, Islam, local government, news, young persons by tracey

‘A teenager who did not want to live with her family because “they were not strict enough Muslims” after being returned from the Syrian border, should have been provided with accommodation and support by the local authority, the High Court has said.’

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Daily Telegraph, 16th March 2016

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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Scenes from a disaster – Nearly Legal

Posted March 1st, 2016 in homelessness, housing, local government, news, select committees by sally

‘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 suitable accommodation.’

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Nearly Legal, 29th February 2016

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Is a mere roof enough? – Nearly Legal

‘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 must have been more to this than appears in the Lawtel note.’

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Nearly Legal, 24th February 2016

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Failing on systematic failings – Nearly Legal

Posted February 15th, 2016 in homelessness, housing, judicial review, local government, news, statutory duty by sally

‘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 claimants – it was agreed that their individual issues had been remedied and the claims were academic on that basis – but whether there were systemic failings in Birmingham’s handling of homeless applications such that Birmingham:

generally, discourage and divert applications so that individuals are denied their statutory rights to have their situation properly inquired into and be given interim accommodation whilst those inquiries are being made.’

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Nearly Legal, 14th February 2016

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Discretion, lip service and s188(3) – Nearly Legal

Posted December 21st, 2015 in homelessness, housing, judicial review, local government, news by sally

‘We’re very late with this one for reasons which are no doubt entirely reasonable, but currently escape me. A judicial review of a refusal (or repeated refusal) to provide interim accommodation pending s.202 review.’

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Nearly Legal, 19th December 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Samuels v Birmingham City Council – WLR Daily

Posted November 13th, 2015 in benefits, homelessness, housing, law reports, remuneration by tracey

Samuels v Birmingham City Council: [2015] EWCA Civ 1051; [2015] WLR (D) 435

‘For the purposes of a person’s application for housing assistance as a homeless person, where a local authority was determining whether that person’s previous accommodation was affordable for that person and therefore whether it would be, or would have been, reasonable for that person to continue to occupy that accommodation, the local authority was to take into account all forms of the person’s income, including social security benefits of all kinds, and of relevant expenses, so that a judgment was to be made on the basis of income and relevant expenses as a whole. Benefits income, including income support, child tax credits and child benefit, was not to have any special status or treatment in that exercise or to be excluded from income which could be taken into account as income which could assist with housing costs.’

WLR Daily, 27th October 2015

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Violent offenders: Fears over management after release – BBC News

‘Is the system in place to manage dangerous offenders when they are released from prison keeping people safe?’

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BBC News, 25th October 2015

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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New fast-track eviction powers could breach human rights, warns watchdog – The Guardian

‘Government proposals to legally require landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants risk a serious breach of human rights, an official watchdog has warned.’

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The Guardian, 12th October 2015

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Listen very carefully, I shall do this only once – Nearly Legal

‘The Claimant in R (on the application of Brooks) v LB Islington [2015] EWHC 2657 (Admin) was the mother of 3 children, who applied to the local authority as homeless following her eviction from a housing association property for rent arrears on 24/3/2015. Sadly, Ms B’s adult, terminally ill, son died two days after the offer of interim accommodation that was the subject of this judicial review.’

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Nearly Legal, 27th September 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Firoozmand v Lambeth London Borough Council – WLR Daily

Firoozmand v Lambeth London Borough Council: [2015] EWCA Civ 952; [2015] WLR (D) 374

‘A local authority offering accommodation to a homeless applicant who complained about its condition was not under a duty whenever such a complaint was made to carry out a hazard inspection and assessment before making its decision as to suitability of the accommodation offered.’

WLR Daily, 3rd September 2015

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Hazard? What Hazard? – Nearly Legal

Posted September 9th, 2015 in homelessness, housing, local government, news, noise, statutory duty by sally

‘When do local authorities have to conduct Housing Act 2004 hazard assessments as part of their homelessness duties?’

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Nearly Legal, 9th September 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Wandsworth London Borough Council v Tompkins and another – WLR Daily

Wandsworth London Borough Council v Tompkins and another [2015] EWCA Civ 846; [2015] WLR (D) 357

‘Where a local housing authority provided accommodation under a tenancy pursuant to its duty under Part VII (Homelessness) of the Housing Act 1996, the requirement in paragraph 4 of Schedule 1 to the Housing Act 1985 which had to be satisfied in order for the tenancy to qualify as a secure tenancy (that the housing authority had to give notification that the tenancy “is to be regarded” as a secure tenancy), meant that the notification had to state that the tenancy was regarded as a secure tenancy at the date of grant and not at some unspecified date in the future.’

WLR Daily, 31st August 2015

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Wherever I lay my hat… Residence tests for allocation policies – Nearly Legal

Posted August 11th, 2015 in domestic violence, homelessness, housing, local government, news by sally

‘This is, I think, a very significant case for all Councils who have or are considering setting residence requirements in their allocation policies.’

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Nearly Legal, 9th August 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Criminal court charges ‘trapping’ penniless suspects – Law Society’s Gazette

‘A charity today called for an urgent review of criminal courts charges after collating cases which it says prove the fees are ‘unrealistic and unfair’.’
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Law Society’s Gazette, 5th August 2015

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Subjective suitability – Nearly Legal

‘At issue in this second appeal from a s.204 appeal was whether it was reasonable for Ms Poshteh to have refused an offer of accommodation. Both parties agreed that the property was objectively suitable. The question then was the second part of the two stage test in Housing Act 1996 section 193(7F):

(7F) The local housing authority shall not –

(a) make a final offer of accommodation under Part 6 for the purposes of subsection (7);

… unless they are satisfied that the accommodation is suitable for the applicant and that it is reasonable for him to accept the offer.”’

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Nearly Legal, 2nd August 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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High Court judge declares part of housing allocation scheme to be unlawful – Local Government Lawyer

Posted June 26th, 2015 in homelessness, housing, local government, news by sally

‘A High Court judge has declared unlawful a London council’s policy of suspending an unintentionally homeless person’s right to bid for social housing for 12 months.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 24th June 2015

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

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