Newham LBC v Khan (2001) EWHC Admin 589 (QBD)

Housing – duty to accommodate – resources – suitable accommodation – delay

The claimant sought judicial review of the delay in providing suitable accommodation. He had lived for several months in hostel-style accommodation where kitchen and bathroom facilities were shared with another family, without any laundry facilities. There were 10 people sharing one kitchen and two toilets. The accommodation was in Essex but the children’s primary school was in Newham. The full s193 Housing Act duty was owed.

On the day of the trial, the council conceded it was in breach, and put in evidence that the borough was under enormous pressure regarding homeless families. The judge was asked to take this into account, and not grant a remedy. He refused, saying the following factors were relevant:

the nature of the accommodation currently occupied

the length of time for which the council had been in breach

the efforts made by the council to find suitable accommodation

the likelihood of accommodation becoming available in the near future

any particular factors related to the individual claimant or family.

On the other hand, the limited resources available to the council were regarded as irrelevant to the question whether a remedy should be granted. On this matter, the judge referred to Newham LBC ex p Ojuri (no. 3) and Newham LBC ex p Sacupima and granted a mandatory order that accommodation be provided within two months.

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