The Court of Appeal has held that when reviewing a homelessness decision under the Housing Act 1996, the review officer must reconsider the decision in light of all relevant circumstances at the date of the review, rather than only the facts at the time of the original decision.
A local housing authority (London Borough of Waltham Forest) had provided temporary accommodation to Mr Saleh and his family after accepting a full housing duty under the Housing Act 1996. The accommodation was situated just outside London Borough of Waltham Forest’s district. Mr Saleh’s daughter suffered from type 1 diabetes and he consequently asked to be re-housed within London Borough of Waltham Forest’s district so that his family could be as close as possible to the daughter’s school, family, and hospital. London Borough of Waltham Forest suggested that the current accommodation was suitable, but subsequently conducted a review of its position. The review officer upheld the original decision – but had not considered whether other suitable accommodation existed closer to, or within, the district. Mr Saleh appealed and the County Court held that the review officer should have considered the availability of other accommodation. London Borough of Waltham Forest appealed.
The Court of Appeal, in dismissing the appeal, held that the review officer should have reconsidered the decision “in the light of all material circumstances at the date of review including the availability of suitable accommodation either within or closer to its district and the school which his daughter attends.”
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