R (AR)(on the application of) v London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham [2018] EWHC 3453 (Admin)

Summary

The High Court held that a local authority did not have to provide an EU national with accommodation where he was ineligible for housing assistance.

A Lithuanian national, who had lived in the UK since 2011, became homeless. Following an assault, he was unable to work and had attempted suicide. The local authority (London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham) concluded that he was not eligible for assistance under the Housing Act 1996 as he did not have a right to reside in the UK. He applied for judicial review of the refusal to provide him with accommodation and support.

The High Court, in refusing the application, held that London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham could not exercise its general power under the Localism Act 2011 to provide an EU national with accommodation where he was ineligible for housing assistance by virtue of the Housing Act 1996. It also held that London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham had scarce resources and was entitled to refuse to support the claimant where his connection with the UK was slight and he was entitled to, as a minimum, social assistance and free health care in Lithuania and had family there.

(This text is from the Capsticks January 2019 Housing Case Law update.)

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