Search

Islington Council in housing list points shake-up after high court ruling

PUBLISHED: 13:59 09 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:57 09 January 2018

Cllr Diarmaid Ward, Islington Council's executive member for housing and development

Cllr Diarmaid Ward, Islington Council's executive member for housing and development

Archant

The town hall has responded to a wrist slap by the High Court over how it allocates council housing by giving more points to hard-up homeless families who would otherwise not qualify.

A judicial review in February heard Islington had given 120 of its homes to households outside of the bidding process because they didn’t have enough points to get on the waiting list, casting doubts over the validity of the points-based scheme.

The review had been called by a single mother-of-three, who challenged the council’s decision to deny her a place because she didn’t have the 120 points required to get on the register.

During the hearing the town hall’s housing chief Karen Lucas admitted that in 2015/16 a third of the 1,172 total allocations were given to families outside of the bidding process.

Last week the town hall executive voted through a change that will see families in financial straits given an extra 40 points – seeing them over the minimum points threshold – if “it is in the council’s wider strategic interests or helps the council manage temporary accommodation more effectively”

This essentially means the council can continue doing what it was doing. Housing chief Diarmaid Ward told the Gazette last week: “What we don’t want is some people not to be able to be in the system at all. We want to make sure everyone can do it.

“We have families in temporary accommodation outside the borough. One of the criteria would be if it was in the council’s interest to move them back. They are generally in the private sector, so for example if the lease was about to expire the council could move them back into a council property.

“Before the judicial review we were able to give people direct offers [who didn’t have enough points] but the ruling found it needed to be more specific about what we were doing and why.”

With 733 Islington households in temporary accommodation, the town hall has a difficult job making sure the system is fair for everyone on the 18,300 waiting list.

“It’s always going to be a difficult balancing act,” Cllr Ward added. “We are trying to make it as fair as possible. If we had more housing it would make it easier.

“We are building 137 homes this year, the most in the borough for 30 years. That is to help families in temporary accommodation get permanent accommodation.”

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 16:28

A cyclist is critically injured after she was hit by a car in Clerkenwell this morning.

Yesterday, 15:22

Islington’s revamped Milner Square Gardens has been celebrated by the community following its £235,000 revamp.

A murder investigation has been launched after a 25-year-old man was stabbed to death in Tufnell Park last night.

Tue, 18:35

An Islington teen reached the finals of the London Fashion Week in Covent Garden on Monday.

Tue, 18:21

Verity Painter is the first woman to become a licensed UK boxing MC. When she isn’t doing that she’s voicing adverts or reading the Gazette to the blind. The ‘Queen of Queensberry’ spoke to Lucas Cumiskey.

Tue, 15:28

A trailblazing scheme from Islington Council will give small independent businesses the chance to rent top quality workspaces at genuinely affordable prices.

Tue, 13:50

Two rogue landlords have been prosecuted for dangerous and sub-standard conditions after Islington Council found 35 people living in a two bedroom flat in Grosvenor Avenue.

Mon, 19:26

Emily Thornberry today branded Universal Credit a “complicated and intimidating system” while speaking at a community conference in Holloway Road.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now