Housing allocations policy

April 21st, 2016

By a change to its housing allocations policy, Ealing Council introduced a Scheme whereby 20% of all available lettings would be removed from the general pool and would be reserved for (a) “Working Households” and (b) “Model Tenants”. In brief, a working household was one where the applicant or another member of the household worked for at least 24 hours per week.  A model tenant was an applicant for transfer who already had a Council secure tenancy but who was seeking more appropriate accommodation and who had complied with the terms of the tenancy.  The broad aims behind the Scheme are to incentivise tenants to work or return to work and to encourage good tenant behaviour.

In R (H) v Ealing LBC [2016] EWHC 841 (Admin) the High Court has ruled the Scheme unlawful.  The four grounds of successful challenge included that the Scheme unlawfully indirectly and without justification discriminated against women, the disabled and elderly persons.  The High Court also found unjustified ECHR discrimination against those who do not hold council tenancies, breach of the PSED, and breach of the Section 11 Children Act 2004 duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

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