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Court of Appeal to hear case on housing authority duties to comply with Public Sector Equality Duty

The Court of Appeal has granted permission for a second appeal in a case that will consider the extent of a housing authority’s duties in complying with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), Garden Court North Chambers has said.

Barrister Sonia Birdee, from the set’s housing team, has been instructed by Nottingham Law Centre in the case of Chalmers v Nottingham City Council.

Birdee was originally instructed to appeal a s202 review decision that her client was intentionally homeless.

The client had tried to move to Nottingham to be with family for support for her two children, who have very demanding and complex needs with which she could not cope alone.

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She served notice on her tenancy but was unable to secure accommodation in Nottingham when her grandmother withdrew her offer to be guarantor.

Ms Birdee claimed Nottingham’s review decision largely ignored the client’s social isolation, which was the primary reason for her inability to cope where she was living, and dealt with s149 EA 2010 by wrongly referring to rent arrears, which were not an issue.

She said judgment in the s204 appeal was largely based on the finding that client’s situation was not much better in Nottingham.

Lewison LJ granted a right to appeal on the basis that there were cogent arguments for suggesting that the review decision was flawed and the grounds argued also raised “important points about the extent of a housing authority’s duties in complying with the PSED”.

Mark Smulian

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