Court of Appeal finds housing allocation policy to indirectly discriminate against Irish travellers and refugees


Re: Ward and Gullu v London Borough of Hillingdon [2019] EWCA Civ 692

This case hearing concerns two appeals. The first involves an appellant of Irish Traveller descent and the second appellant is a Kurd of Turkish nationality, who was awarded refugee status in April 2013. Both parties claim they were at a disadvantage in satisfying the 10-year residence requirement of the Social Housing Allocation Policy of the London Borough of Hillingdon, in order to receive housing.

Held: The Court of Appeal held that Hillingdon’s housing allocation policy, which gave priority to those who could satisfy a 10-year residence requirement, unlawfully discriminated against Irish Travellers and refugees.

The raises important issues about the legality of local authority’s housing allocation policies and when reliance can be placed on “safety valves” to avoid findings of discrimination.

Dan Squires QC and Chris Buttler were involved in this case.