Tuesday 1 – Thursday 3 March 2022
Elkundi & ors (claimant/respondent) v Birmingham City Council (defendant/appellant)
Imam (claimant/appellant) v London Borough of Croydon (defendant/respondent)
Elkundi – The Defendant, Birmingham City Council (‘BCC’) appeals the Order of Mrs Justice Steyn dated 23 April 2021.
2. Brief factual background :
The four claimants each applied to BCC for accommodation under the homelessness provisions contained in Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 (‘HA 1996′). The Council accepted that Mr Elkundi, Mr Ahmed and Mrs Ross are owed the main housing duty under section 193(2). BCC had also accepted that it was subject to the same duty in Mr Al-Shameri’s case, but due to developments during the course of the proceedings before Steyn J it contended that, in his case, the section 193(2) duty had been discharged.
BCC’s practice when dealing with the applications was to place applicants who are owed the HA 1996 main housing duty, and who are in unsuitable accommodation, on a waiting list, the Planned Move List (`PML’) and offering accommodation to those applicants in date order by reference to the date on which they were added to the list.
By her Order, Steyn J: (1) declared that s.193(2) of the Housing Act 1996 (`the main housing duty’) is an immediate, unqualified and non-defferrable duty to secure suitable accommodation; (2) the Defendant is operating an unlawful system for performance of the man housing duty by placing those eligible on the PML list, the PML list fails to distinguish persons in suitable and unsuitable accommodation, and the PML fails to meet the Defendant’s obligations under the Equality Act 2010 s.149; (3) the Defendant has made decisions on statutory review in the cases of the First, Second and Third Claimants that their accommodation was unsuitable within the meaning of Part 7 Housing Act 1996; (4) the Defendant is in breach of the main hosing duty in respect of the Second and Third Claimants; (5) the Defendant was in breach of the main hosing duty in respect of the First Claimant between 3 January 2020 and 12 March 2021; (6) the Defendant was in breach of the main hosing duty in respect of the Fourth Claimant between 27 April 2018 and 28 September 2020.
Imam -The claimant appeals the Order of Mathew Gullick QC dated 26 March 2021, by which he dismissed C’s claim on Grounds 1 and 2 and made no order as to costs.
Factual Background – C brought a claim for judicial review in respect of D’s failure to provide suitable accommodation pursuant to a duty in s. 193(2) of the Housing Act 1996. C is a wheelchair user and is disabled within the meaning of s.6 of the Equality Act 2010. In 2014 C applied to D for accommodation to be provided to her and D allocated C a flat as temporary accommodation under Part 7 of the 1996 Act (“the Property”). C is on the waiting list for permanent accommodation to provided to her under Part 6 of the 1996 Act. A number of concerns in relation to the suitability of the property were raised by C’s Occupational Therapist during a visit in 2015. Following this, D wrote to C’s solicitors informing them that it was minded to decide that the Property was suitable and stating their reasons. In June 2015, D accepted that the Property was not suitable accommodation. D later informed C that she would be contacted directly when a suitable property became available. In March 2016, C’s solicitors wrote to D stating that no offer has been received. D did not respond to this letter. However, D did then offer the Property as permanent accommodation. C’s solicitors wrote to D asking whether this offer was being made in error as it had by this point already been determined that the Property is unsuitable. C’s solicitors did not receive replies to their letters. On 19 September 2016, C’s solicitors sent D a Pre-Action Protocol letter setting out their proposed judicial review for breach of statutory duty (this was not proceeded with). A further Judicial Review claim was brought and permission to apply for Judicial Review was given on 19 May 2020.