Council faces challenges over homelessness policy
- 22 Jan
A council's policy is to be challenged in the High Court as it prohibits homeless people from bidding for social housing for 12 months.
Resident Hakima Alemi will be heard in the High Court, where she will be represented by law firm Hodge Jones & Allen.
She contends that this scheme is 'unlawful' as it suspends homeless people from bidding for social housing until a year after their homelessness acceptance, Inside Housing reports.
Furthermore, Alemi argues that Westminster's policy breaches the 1996 Housing Act which states that councils must give ‘reasonable preference' to homeless people.
Jayesh Kunwardia, partner at Hodge Jones & Allen stated, ‘The council is unlawfully removing homeless applicants from its allocation policy whom the local authority must accept as reasonable preference through legislation'.
In its court proposal, Westminster Council counters this argument by saying that it is acting in conjunction with the law as it has not taken homeless applicants off the register but instead suspended their bidding rights for 12 months.
There was another similar incident which involved a homeless woman who won a judicial review in November against Hammersmith & Fulham council's policy which prevented those who were in ‘suitable' temporary accommodation from registering on their waiting list.
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