Council wrong to refuse housing to dying man
The High Court has ruled a council’s decision not to house a dying homeless man was unlawful.
Kensington and Chelsea council has refused to house and support Portuguese national Adalberto Jesus de Almeida since 2010 saying it had ‘scarce resources’.
Mr de Almeida is suffering from HIV/Aids and skin cancer and in November 2011 he was told he had about six months to live. But the local authority decided he ‘did not have eligible needs requiring care and attention’.
Mrs Justice Lang in the Queen’s bench division’s ruling, released on Friday last week (April 27), said the local authority had acted unlawfully in refusing to give care and accommodation. It had also breached Mr de Almeida’s rights under article 3 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Mr de Almeida applied to the council once he became too ill to work and was evicted from his private rented accommodation. Friends had also supported him until they could no longer do so financially and he became too ill.
Housing lawyer David Watkinson, from Garden Court Chambers, said although the case did not set a legal precedent it could influence other judgements.
‘It just might lead to courts in judicial review cases looking more closely at the factual basis of the local authority decision than they have done up until now,’ he said.
Local authorities might be more careful in refusing accommodation in such cases, he suggested. Mr Watkinson also said it was ‘shocking’ that Mr de Almeida had to ‘reach the condition described in the judgement to be certain of obtaining a decision in his favour’.