Ombudsman threatens council with legal action over lack of co-operation – Local Government Lawyer

Posted February 20th, 2020 in homelessness, local government, news by sally

‘Folkestone and Hythe Council was threatened with a court summons by the Local Government Ombudsman over its handling of a complaint about its treatment of a homeless family.’

Full Story

Local Government Lawyer, 20th February 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

British woman repeatedly trafficked for sex after Home Office failures – The Guardian

‘A young and highly vulnerable British sex trafficking victim was re-trafficked by county lines drug gangs on multiple occasions after the Home Office repeatedly refused to fulfil its legal obligation to provide her with safe accommodation.’

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The Guardian, 16th February 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Court of Appeal provides important guidance on late homelessness appeals, recognising the “difficulties faced by homelessness applicants in bringing an appeal… without legal advice and representation” – Garden Court Chambers

Posted February 6th, 2020 in appeals, chambers articles, homelessness, news, time limits by sally

‘Giving judgment in the case of Al-Ahmed v Tower Hamlets London Borough Council [2020] EWCA Civ 51 on 30 January 2020, the Court of Appeal gave important guidance on when a homeless applicant may be permitted to bring an appeal outside of the 21-day time limit, against a local authority’s decision on his or her homeless application. It rejected a High Court decision which had found that the requirements of bringing a homelessness appeal were not ‘especially sophisticated or taxing’ and therefore there was not a good reason why Mr Al Ahmed could not have issued the appeal as a litigant in person during the time limit.’

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Garden Court Chambers, 30th January 2020

Source: www.gardencourtchambers.co.uk

Out of time but not out of mind – Nearly Legal

‘We saw the High Court in this case take an incredibly strict approach to homelessness section 204 appeal timescales (our report), deciding that seeking legal aid representation could not be a good reason for filing an appeal out of time because, well, the substance of any appeal should be obvious to an unrepresented homeless applicant. We expressed considerable doubts about the realism of this decision at the time. Now, as it turns out, the Court of Appeal has had similar doubts.’

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Nearly Legal, 2nd February 2020

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Applicant wins Court of Appeal battle over whether difficulty finding legal advisers was “good reason” for delay in homelessness appeal – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Court of Appeal has overturned a High Court ruling that the fact a homeless applicant was unrepresented and seeking legal aid was not a “good reason” for delay in bringing an appeal under s.204 of the Housing Act 1996 against an adverse review decision under the homelessness provisions of that Act.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 31st January 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Council rapped over treatment of pregnant woman who was made homeless – Local Government Lawyer

Posted January 8th, 2020 in duty of care, homelessness, housing, local government, news, ombudsmen, pregnancy by sally

‘The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has agreed to consider service resources and “the changes it needs to make to work in line with the law” after a Local Government and Social Ombudsman investigation into how a pregnant woman, who approached the council for help when she was made homeless, was left in an unfurnished flat, miles from her support network.’

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Local Government Lawyer, January 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

High Court quashes decision by council to refuse to accept second homelessness application over failure to consider new medical evidence – Local Government Lawyer

‘A Deputy High Court judge has quashed a decision by a borough council to refuse a claimant’s second homelessness application, after it failed to take into account new medical evidence.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 16th December 2019

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Homelessness and Offending Rates – An Inextricable Link – Pump Court Chambers

Posted November 28th, 2019 in homelessness, housing, imprisonment, local government, news, probation by sally

‘The Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) 2017 came into effect on 3rd April 2018 and places new legal duties on local authorities so that everyone who is homeless, or at risk of homelessness, should have access to meaningful help, irrespective of their priority need status, as long as they are eligible for assistance. The Act amends part VII of the Housing Act 1996 and is arguably the biggest change in homelessness legislation since the Housing
(Homelessness Persons) Act 1977.’

Full Story

Pump Court Chambers, 12th November 2019

Source: www.pumpcourtchambers.com

Suitability when? Review and decision dates – Nearly Legal

Posted November 27th, 2019 in appeals, families, homelessness, housing, local government, news by sally

‘The Court of Appeal on section 202 Housing Act 1996 reviews of suitability and what facts should be relevant at the time of review.’

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Nearly Legal, 26th November 2019

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Homelessness: High Court Challenge Against ‘Begging Fines’ Granted – Rights Info

‘Human rights campaigners have launched a landmark legal bid to determine whether homeless people are being “criminalised” by fines against begging and leaving bedding in doorways.’

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Rights Info, 8th November 2019

Source: rightsinfo.org

A third of women at the biggest female jail are spending just three weeks or less in prison – Daily Telegraph

Posted November 5th, 2019 in homelessness, news, prisons, recidivists, rehabilitation, sentencing, statistics, women by sally

‘A third of the inmates at Europe’s largest female jail spend three weeks or under behind bars, watchdogs have revealed.’

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Daily Telegraph, 4th November 2019

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

High court to hear crowdfunded challenge to ‘begging fines’ – The Guardian

‘A landmark high court case will determine whether fines for begging, loitering and leaving bedding in doorways unfairly targets homeless people, after a fundraising campaign for legal costs reached its target.’

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The Guardian, 4th November 2019

Source: www.theguardian.com

Appellant loses High Court challenge over ruling that she was out of time to bring homelessness appeal – Local Government Lawyer

Posted October 31st, 2019 in appeals, homelessness, housing, news, time limits by sally

‘A woman who travelled to Mauritius to see her father after he had suffered a stroke has lost her appeal against an order by a County Court judge refusing her application for permission to bring an appeal out of time over a council’s decision that it had discharged its housing duty.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 30th Octobe 2019

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

More on “vulnerability” – Nearly Legal

‘In Guiste v Lambeth LBC (2019) EWCA Civ 1758, the Court of Appeal returned again to the meaning of Lord Neuberger’s eliptical phrase in Hotak v Southwark LBC that, for the purposes of the homelessness provisions in the Housing Act 1996, vulnerability meant being significantly more vulnerable than ordinarily vulnerable as a result of being made homeless. The decision in Guiste (I’m told that it is pronounced “Geest” as opposed to “Gwist”) in some respects is one on its facts, but the Court of Appeal make a number of observations of significance in these cases and leave one point open (albeit give their penniworth on it). As an academic interested in the field, I wonder at the amount of effort,time, and money spent in arguing the toss about vulnerability, and whether there might be better uses of that effort/time/cash, but there we go; that’s why we have our tower.’

Full Story

Nearly Legal, 29th October 2019

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Court of Appeal quashes homelessness “vulnerability” decision – Doughty Street Chambers

Posted October 29th, 2019 in appeals, expert witnesses, homelessness, housing, news, psychiatrists by sally

‘The Court of Appeal has given further guidance on the vexed meaning of vulnerability for the purposes of the homelessness provisions in the Housing Act 1996, Part 7, and the handling of medical evidence.’

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Doughty Street Chambers, 22nd October 2019

Source: www.doughtystreet.co.uk

Permission to appeal out of time – the strict approach – Nearly Legal

Posted October 29th, 2019 in homelessness, housing, limitations, news by tracey

‘Emambee v London Borough of Islington (2019) EWHC 2835 (QB). We saw what seemed like a rather harsh refusal on permission to bring a s.204 Housing Act 1996 homelessness appeal out of time in London Borough of Hamlets v Al Ahmed (2019) EWHC 749 (QB) (our note). Here is another one which seems to take a strict view, both on when the s.202 review decision was received, and on delay to obtain legal representation.’

Full Story

Nearly Legal , 27th october 2019

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Harry Styles stalker: Homeless man told to keep away from star – BBC News

Posted October 22nd, 2019 in community service, homelessness, news, rehabilitation, sentencing, stalking by tracey

‘A homeless man convicted of stalking Harry Styles after camping outside his house has been banned from going within 250m of the singer.’

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BBC News, 21st October 2019

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Child slavery victims being lured back into exploitation due to lack of support amid surge in cases – The Independent

‘Child victims of modern slavery are being lured back into exploitation and falling into homelessness as cash-strapped local authorities struggle to cope with a surge in cases, charities have warned. Thousands of young people who have been trafficked and exploited, often by county lines gangs or through international criminal networks, are being left to navigate complex legal, education and immigration systems alone because austerity-hit services cannot adequately support them.’

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The Independent, 18th October 2019

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Dishonourable discharge – Nearly Legal

‘SH, R (on the application of) v The London Borough of Waltham Forest (2019) EWHC 2618 (Admin). This was a judicial review of Waltham Forest’s decision that it had discharged its s.193 Housing Act 1996 duty (the full homeless duty) to Ms SH by an offer of private sector accommodation under s.193(7AA). In fact, WF maintained it had done so twice, and both purported discharges were challenged, by way of WF’s decision that Ms SH had made a fresh application, rather than it having a continuing duty. There is also a brief excursus into the relation of s.193 and s.189B duties.’

Full Story

Nearly Legal, 13th October 2019

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Scheme giving ex-offenders a stable place to live up and running – Ministry of Justice

‘A scheme giving vulnerable ex-offenders stable accommodation to help them rebuild their lives and stay away from crime is now up and running, Prisons Minister Lucy Frazer announced today (10 October 2019).’

Full press release

Ministry of Justice, 10th october 2019

Source: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice