Latest Public Sector News


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


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



public sector executive tv

more videos >

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 open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Connecting the North East

15/04/2019Connecting the North East

Cabinet member for economic regeneration at Northumberland County Council R... more >
What about social care?

15/04/2019What about social care?

Glen Garrod, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Serv... more >


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 welco... more >

the raven's daily blog

Self-build builds potential for more and better homes

15/04/2019Self-build builds potential for more and better homes

The director of The Right to Build Task Force – which advises stakeholders on bringing on more custom and self-build homes – Mario Wolf, who is currently on second... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

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 feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >