Latest Public Sector News

20.11.14

Supreme Court case could address ‘injustice’ of council homeless assessments – charities

A Supreme Court challenge on how councils decide which homeless people are judged ‘vulnerable’ enough for rehousing could address a ‘longstanding injustice’ that has seen many turned away in the past, according to Crisis and Shelter. 

As the law stands in England, when a person comes to their council as homeless, they must prove that they are ‘vulnerable’ enough to qualify as a ‘priority’ for rehousing. 

However, the homelessness charities have evidence of people in desperate situations being judged as not being vulnerable by local councils, including women fleeing domestic violence, people with learning disabilities, people with mental health problems and young people forced out of the family home. 

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “Local councils are wrongly refusing to help homeless people who come to them in desperate need as they do not consider them to be ‘vulnerable enough’. 

“This has led to many people being turned away to sleep on the streets. The average age of death for a homeless person is just 47 – a shocking state of affairs in 21st century England. If the Supreme Court addresses this longstanding injustice, and people are judged fairly when they ask for help from their local council, protection for homeless people could be greatly improved.” 

Last year, 113,270 people in England approached their council as homeless, while rough sleeping has risen by 37% over three years. 

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “In Britain 90,000 children will wake up on Christmas morning without a place to call home. With more and more people facing the nightmare of losing their home, it’s vital we ensure that everyone who finds themselves in this desperate situation is treated fairly and given the help they are entitled to.” 

Three cases are due to be heard at the Supreme Court from 15 December 2014. 

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opininon@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

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. Bei... 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 t... more >

interviews

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 ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

14/11/2019Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

Public Sector Executive’s Matt Roberts explains how living in a modern, interconnected world, as we do, means public sector organisations cannot afford to ignore the rol... 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 >