If an offer is refused then the date for considering whether there was other accommodation available is the date of the offer not the review. Contrast this with Bromley v Broderick 2020 where the applicant refused the offer before requesting a review and the date was the date of the review.
The Court of Appeal 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.”
- Notes on Case with relevance to challenging the suitability of accommodation
Para 39: It seems to me that, consistently with these authorities, we should treat the obligation of the Council to review its decision to secure accommodation for Mr Saleh at 179 Little Ilford Lane as requiring it to reconsider that 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.
- Note change to Code of Guidance para 17.49 since decision was issued
Where accommodation which is otherwise suitable and affordable is available nearer to the authority’s district than the accommodation which it has secured, the accommodation which it has secured is not likely to be suitable unless the applicant has specified a preference, or the accommodation has been offered in accordance with a published policy which provides for fair and reasonable allocation of ac