Hounslow housing allocation scheme to be reviewed following discrimination challenge
The London Borough of Hounslow is to review its housing allocation scheme to avoid unlawful discrimination against refugees and those fleeing violence, following a claim for judicial review.
The claimant, BN, represented by Hopkin Murray Beskine solicitors, was a refugee who had fled severe gender-based violence in her home country and had lived in Hounslow since arriving in the UK. Her application to join Hounslow’s housing register was refused on the basis that she did not meet the residence criterion under the scheme, which requires applicants to have lived in the borough for 5 years.
BN issued a claim for judicial review of the residence requirement, on the basis that it unlawfully discriminated against her as a refugee and as a victim of gender-based violence.
Hounslow agreed to settle the case and to take the following steps:
1. To carry out a review of the residence criterion;
2. Pending any amendments arising out of the review, to disapply the criterion in relation to applicants who are refugees and/or who have fled non-domestic gender-based violence; and
3. To publish details of the disapplication on its website within 14 days of the order, to ensure that potential applicants are aware of their entitlement to join its housing register.
In order to promote open justice, Mr Justice Fordham handed down a short judgment recording the full terms of the order (R (BN) v Hounslow LBC  EWHC 3083 (Admin)).
Jamie Burton KC and Daniel Clarke of Doughty Street Chambers represented BN, instructed by Beatrice Patrick of Hopkin Murray Beskine solicitors.