refusal-to-accommodate-a-homeless-child

The High Court has granted permission in a judicial review challenge against a London Borough’s decision refusing to provide accommodation and support to a 4 year old British child with his mother who faced street homelessness after the child’s parents separated.

The child’s mother has leave to remain in the UK and has worked as a part-time support worker. She has an application pending with the Home Office to extend her leave. She has also requested that the Home Office lifts a  ‘no recourse to public funds’ condition placed on her leave which prohibits her from being able to access mainstream welfare support benefits which includes housing, housing benefit and child-related benefits which may supplement her working income to be able to support her and her son.

On assessment, social services refused to provide any support to the child with his mother. The council argues that the child’s mother should make a further application to the Home Office to lift the no recourse to public funds condition. On behalf of the child, it has been argued that there are no further applications that his mother can make to the Home Office whilst she waits for a decision on her current application. It is argued that whilst the family wait for that decision from the Home Office, social services should provide accommodation and support because the family have nowhere else to live and are unable to access any other type of state welfare support.

On 4 April 2019, the High Court decided that the case brought on the child’s behalf is arguable and has granted permission. The court has now set directions for the case to proceed to a trial.

The child is represented in the judicial review court proceedings by Warwick Norris at GT Stewart Solicitors & Advocates and his barrister, Leonie Hirst of Hirst Chambers.