Saturday, July 18, 2015

Lawsuit for a lower court: The Mayor of London's GLA deprives Declan of his statutory right of review and appeal in respect of its decision to effectively terminate our eligibility for our flat but seeks its costs from the High Court

Mayor of London Boris Johnson

Part 1 (17 June 2015): Just before Declan is off to the High Court to file his claim against the Greater London Authority, we lose the internet at home (British Telecom) and on our smartphone (Vodafone)

Human Rights Act 1998

Article 6 (Right to a fair trial)

In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ... everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by the law.

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has filed with the High Court an outrageous defence to Declan's claim against them (see further below). They have hidden from the court much of the evidence Declan cites in his application; in particular, that they have made a decision to refer us from the Mayor of London's Housing First Programme to St Mungo's Broadway's Clearing House that effectively terminates our eligibility for our flat because we don't require support to live independently. They also fail to provide the court with any evidence that GLA Housing First has ended and will not be continued, possibly because the GLA website still lists Housing First under the heading "Mayor's rough sleeping services" here. Nonetheless, they have sought the costs of preparing their Acknowledgment of Service and this after having effectively admitted in paragraph 13 of their Grounds of Defence that they have deprived Declan of his statutory right of review and appeal:

Related Post (8 May 2015): Declan is vindicated in court and wins £750 in damages from the Single Homeless Project

We expect nothing from the High Court; but, as soon as Declan is denied a hearing to make his case, he will file a claim in the County Court seeking a review that can be appealed and compensatory damages. This is the claim he filed with the High Court on 17 June:

SECTION 5 Detailed statement of grounds

The Claimant challenges the decision of the Defendant to uphold his and his wife’s referral from the Mayor of London’s Housing First Programme to Clearing House/TST as unacceptable and unlawful because it contravenes the "secure exit plan" stipulated in the 2014/15 Pilot Funding Agreement between GLA and SHP at Schedule 2. Unlike Housing First, Clearing House/TST is "time-limited" in that eligibility for flats, issued on two-year renewable Assured Shorthold Tenancies, terminates when individuals are assessed as being able to live independently. By reason of upholding this referral, the Defendant is accountable and responsible for it. The Defendant has also failed to comply with its discovery obligations by not providing the Claimant with evidence that GLA Housing First has ended and will not be continued. The Defendant does not consider this matter suitable for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), and therefore the Claimant seeks permission to proceed with a claim for judicial review as a remedy of last resort on the said ground of illegality.

We fully expect to be evicted whilst Declan is fighting for his statutory right of review and appeal. From a Housing First programme that offers the client the possibility to extend their tenancy and preferably for their lifetime (see quote below), to a programme that is coercively telling us to move on because we can live independently. Who in their right mind would not fight for their right of review and appeal? In other words, this time next year we expect to be back on the streets looking for political asylum, while at the same time suing the GLA for illegally making us homeless.

From 2014/2015 Housing First Funding Agreement between the GLA and SHP at Schedule 1

Clients who meet the criteria for a Housing First offer will be offered long term tenancies.... Long term tenancies would mean for a minimum of two years with the possibility to extend and preferably for the lifetime of the client [emphasis added].

Related Post (6 May 2015): High Court Pre-Action Letter: Principal Solicitor for the Mayor of London's Greater London Authority threatens us with eviction by falsely accusing us of refusing support