Poor management of homeless people means local authorities face Supreme Court challenge
England’s local authorities will face a Supreme Court challenge from today due to the way they judge which homeless people are vulnerable enough for re-housing.
Housing charities Crisis and Shelter, with the support of other homelessness and housing organisations, have stated that the outcome has the potential to address an injustice which has led to many people having taken to the streets after being rejected help from their council. Reports 24dash.
Currently, the law withstands that when a person presents themselves as homeless, they must prove that they are more vulnerable than an ‘ordinary homeless person’ to qualify as a ‘priority’ for rehousing.
Last year, 113,270 people in England approached their council as homeless, while rough sleeping has risen by 37% over three years.
An undercover investigation by Crisis revealed how homeless people are being rejected help from their councils and have no other option but to sleep on the streets. The investigation included mystery shoppers with personal experiences of homelessness to test the services of local councils across England.
Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis stated, “There is nothing ‘ordinary’ about the devastation of homelessness. Yet local councils say they have the law on their side when they refuse to help people who come to them in desperate need – as they are not considered more vulnerable than ‘an ordinary homeless person.”
“The Supreme Court has the power to address this longstanding injustice, and ensure people are judged fairly when they ask for help from their local council.”
Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter also stated, “In Britain 90,000 children will wake up on Christmas morning without a place to call home. With more and more people facing the nightmare of losing their home, it’s vital we ensure that everyone who finds themselves in this desperate situation is treated fairly and given the help they are entitled to”.
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