Court rules that Hillingdon Council’s Social Housing Allocation Policy, residence qualification and uplift were unlawful


Re: R (TW & Ors) v London Borough of Hillingdon [2018] EWHC 1791 (Admin)

The claimants challenged the Social Housing Allocation Policy (December 2016) of the London Borough of Hillingdon in so far as it provides: (1) in para 2.2.4, a condition that only households with at least 10 years’ continuous residence in-borough qualify to join the three welfare-based bands (A-C) of its housing register (the residence qualification); (2) in para 14.3, additional preference for such households who are in Bands C and B of the housing register (the residence uplift), and (3) in para 14.4, additional preference for those in Bands C and B who are working households on low income (the working household uplift).

All of the claimants were of Irish Traveller descent and currently living in temporary accommodation in the London Borough of Hillingdon.  TW, the first claimant, is a woman, who is a lone parent, who cares for SW, the second claimant, her two-year-old daughter.  EM, the third claimant, cannot work, on the grounds of his own disability and as a full-time carer for his three adult disabled children.

Supperstone J allowed the judicial review claim on the basis that he was satisfied that (1) the residence qualification and uplift discriminate indirectly and unlawfully under the Equality Act 2010, ss 19 and 29 against persons with the protected characteristic of “race” and that, as Irish Travellers, the claimants had such a characteristic and (2) the defendant breached their duty under the Children Act 2004, s 11(2) in formulating and maintaining those provisions.  However, the court did not consider that the working household uplift was unlawful.

Dan Squires QC was involved in this case.