February 22nd, 2017 by James Goudie KC

In R (Osman) v Harrow LBC [2017] EWHC 274 (Admin) the Claimant applied for judicial review of the decision of the Defendant to award the Claimant Band C priority for the purposes of the allocation of housing accommodation. The award was made in accordance with the Defendant’s amended housing scheme (the Amended Scheme) under Part VI of the Housing Act 1996 (the 1996 Act). The Claimant contended that the scheme as amended was unlawful, as is its application to the Claimant, on the grounds that it unlawfully discriminated against those in the private rented sector including the Claimant and her family by denying equivalent priority to those in the public sector contrary to Articles 8 and 14 of the ECHR. Accordingly the Amended Scheme did not secure that a reasonable preference was given to persons occupying overcrowded housing or otherwise living in unsatisfactory housing conditions including the Claimant and her family contrary to Section 166A(3) of the 1996 Act.

The application for judicial review was refused. The Judge concluded that the preference given to the Claimant’s group in the scheme banding was a reasonable preference for the purposes of Section 166A(3) of the 1996 Act, and pursued a legitimate aim and was proportionate for the purposes of the ECHR.

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