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LA reverses allocation policy that penalises homeless applicants after JR challenge


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The case was brought by a claimant who was originally told by Brent Council that she would not even be considered for a house despite being homeless and living in temporary accommodation. Prior to the judicial review hearing last month, Brent agreed to reverse the polciy -

‘Brent Council’s allocation scheme currently places applicants in priority bands D to A, where A is the highest priority. People in higher priority bands out-bid people in lower priority bands who express an interest in the same property on Brent’s housing register. People in band D are not allowed to bid at all.

Brent’s scheme currently says homeless applicants have ‘no priority’ and will be placed in band D, so that they can’t bid. The only exception to this is if Brent had accepted a ‘main housing duty’ towards a homelessness applicant. This requires the applicant to meet specific criteria that go beyond being homeless, such as having a serious enough health condition.

The law says Brent has to give ‘reasonable preference’ to homeless people even if they are not owed the ‘main housing duty’.

Garden Court Chambers say the judicial review proceedings in the High Court have now been put on hold until 15 March next year to allow Brent to carry out its promised changes.