Planning and Housing

04.02.19

Mother appeals to Supreme Court after Birmingham City Council declared her ‘intentionally homeless’

Birmingham City Council is being taken to the Supreme Court by a woman who claimed she was forced into homelessness by the council.

The mother-of-four was declared “intentionally homeless” after the city council said she should have plugged a £35 shortfall between her housing benefit and her rent using non-housing benefits.

But she claims she was forced to spend the money on food over rent, and two charities have backed her case and called the council’s practice “unlawful.”

The court listing said the woman was a tenant in a house in West Bromwich, Sandwell from November 2010 to July 2011 and was “in receipt of benefits, including housing benefit, which did not cover her actual rent, but left her with a monthly shortfall.”

Her private tenancy of £700-a-month was terminated due to unpaid rent, and the woman made a homelessness application for assistance to Birmingham City Council.

The council judged her to have “become homeless intentionally” because her house was affordable and “the loss of the accommodation was the result of her deliberate act in failing to pay the rent.”

The court’s listing says she appealed, claiming the respondent had failed to follow the relevant guidance and questioning the decision to conclude that there was sufficient flexibility in her income to fund her rent.

In the Court of Appeal, judges dismissed the appeal after agreeing with the original judgement that the woman had been given “a more than adequate expression of the reasons for the decision.”

Judge Worster said: “I do not think that the judge fell into error in any of the respects advanced under the third ground of appeal,” and the case has now been appealed to the Supreme Court.

The woman has received backing from both the Child Poverty Action Group and Shelter, with the latter’s campaign director saying: “When someone is forced to choose between rent and keeping their children fed, they cannot be viewed as ‘intentionally’ homeless when they choose the latter.”

Image credit - William Barton

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

TSSA welcomes vote backing HS2 phase 2

17/07/2019TSSA welcomes vote backing HS2 phase 2

The general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) has described the decision by MPs to approve the second stage of the H... more >
County council approves £153m link road amid climate change protests

16/07/2019County council approves £153m link road amid climate change protests

Norwich county councillors have formally approved a new link road for the Norwich bypass, despite the environmental group Extinction Rebellion st... more >
Lewisham Council appoint new chief executive from Hackney Council

15/07/2019Lewisham Council appoint new chief executive from Hackney Council

Lewisham LBC is set to appoint Kim Wright, currently a group director at Hackney Council, as its new chief executive. Wright will take up th... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
TSSA welcomes vote backing HS2 phase 2

17/07/2019TSSA welcomes vote backing HS2 phase 2

The general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) has described the decision by MPs to approve the second stage of the High Speed Two (HS2) as “wise and welcome&rdq... more >
County council approves £153m link road amid climate change protests

16/07/2019County council approves £153m link road amid climate change protests

Norwich county councillors have formally approved a new link road for the Norwich bypass, despite the environmental group Extinction Rebellion staging protests on the steps of the County Hall. ... more >

the raven's daily blog

New rules to change the future of Social Value

05/06/2019New rules to change the future of Social Value

The government has announced the introduction of new rules to change the future of social value and make the way housing developers stump up the money for infrastructure both simpler and more transparent. These regulatory changes are designed to help achieve its ambition to deliver 300,000 extra homes per year by the mid-2020s.  ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues that community-led initiatives are a productive way of helping to solve... more >
Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

19/06/2019Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

Aberdeen City Council’s hydrogen spokesperson, councillor Philip Bell, highlights the Granite City’s determination to play a leading ... more >
A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

13/06/2019A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

A fifth of the country’s public sector workers say they have NEVER received a ‘thank you’ for doing their job as Public Service... more >

interviews

Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

View all News