R (Bell) v London Borough of Lambeth [2022] EWHC 2008 (Admin)

We acted for the Claimant in her challenges of the failure of the Defendant (“Lambeth Council”) to provide her with suitable accommodation under the duty in section 193(2) of the Housing Act 1996 (“the 1996 Act”). On 27 July the Court granted mandatory relief against Lambeth Council for admitted breach of the main housing duty.

The nature of the section 193(2) duty was recently given detailed consideration by the Court of Appeal in R (Elkundi) v Birmingham City Council and ors [2022] 3 WLR 71.

The Court considered the nature of the accommodation being occupied by the Claimant and her family, the damaging impact that the accommodation was having on the family and the length of time the family had been in unsuitable accommodation. The Court also considered that Lambeth had not shown it had taken all reasonable steps to secure suitable accommodation for the Claimant to date.

The Court also considered there was force in the Claimant’s argument that the combined effect of the PSED and section 11 of the Children Act 1989 is that local authorities need to be proactive in ensuring that they have available to them housing that will meet the needs of families with disabled children under Part VII.

Claire Wiles of our Housing Team acted for the Claimant, instructing counsel Zia Nabi and David Cowan of Doughty Street Chambers.