A young couple were refused accommodation by Greenwich Council after they asked to be housed in order for their son, who was in foster care, to be returned to them. Redbridge Council had removed their son from their care some 2 ½ years earlier, and the Family Court indicated in September 2014 that the child should be returned to his parents once they were in suitable accommodation.
The couple approached Greenwich Council for temporary accommodation, but were told that the Council did not owe them a duty as their son was not part of their household. No accommodation was offered in spite of the fact that the Council was aware, through the care proceedings, that the child was only still in foster care because the couple did not have appropriate accommodation. In this case, the local authority should have accepted the child as part of the household and offered temporary accommodation. Because this did not happen, the child could not be returned to his parents, and their long wait to have him back with them continued.
David Araya represented the couple in relation to the issue of housing. Following a threat of judicial review made to Greenwich Council, and an Interim Supervision Order made by the Family Court, the Council agreed to house the couple and include their son in the household.
Philip Wilkins of Hudgell & Partners acted for the father in the care proceedings, and worked with David to ensure that the issue of housing by Greenwich Council was resolved. Happily, the offer of accommodation came just before Christmas and the family will now be able to work towards being reunited.
If you have been refused temporary accommodation from a local authority, you may be able to challenge this decision. Please contact us to see if we can assist you.
To read the full judgment click here: bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2014/775.html
For a comment on the case from a family law perspective, click here:
For a comment on the case from a housing law perspective, click here: