Newham Council response to legal challenge on temporary accommodation offer

27 July 2018 in Housing and Mayor
A Newham Council spokesperson said:
“We have every sympathy with Sara Abdalla and others like her who find themselves in a similar position. We would love to be able to offer accommodation in Newham to her and every homeless person or family that comes to us for support, but there simply aren’t the properties available. It is terrible for people to have to be uprooted from an area they have called home.

“The ruling by Central London County Court yesterday (26 July) allows Sara to challenge the reasonableness of our decision to discharge our legal duty to house her following a refusal of an offer of accommodation.

“Although Sara’s case was subject to a formal statutory review decision, Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz has asked for a further urgent investigation into the circumstances of her case. We have carefully considered Sara’s representations and as a result we will conduct an informal internal review. We will consider any new information and change of circumstances.

“With almost 5,000 households in temporary accommodation, we are forced to make difficult decisions, compounded by Government policies and welfare cuts.

“The Mayor has also asked for a review of our whole approach to housing allocations, which is compounded by the dearth of suitable affordable accommodation here and throughout London. Councillor John Gray, Cabinet member for housing services, has already announced at Overview and Scrutiny Committee (24 July), that the entire housing allocations policy will be looked at, including the suitability of offers made to homeless families.”​