HLPA

The Housing Law Practitioners Association was set up to provide a forum for practitioners working in the housing field to share knowledge and information. Membership is open to all those who use housing law for the benefit of the homeless, tenants, and other occupiers of housing. Current members include solicitors, barristers, advice workers, independent environmental health officers and other housing specialists.

Events

HLPA has regular events for members, and special events for all. The very latest in housing law practice, delivered by those involved. Notes and handouts available to all members on the website soon after each meeting. For the next meeting:

Latest update

HLPA survey for solicitors with Brent clients – Deadline: 20/09/2021

Dear HLPA members,

HLPA has been approached for assistance with an information gathering exercise. Its solicitor/trainee solicitor/paralegal members are invited to spare a few minutes to complete a 7 question survey relating to casework experience of clients who have approached the London Borough of Brent for housing assistance – https://forms.gle/wbTatJ1D4tgmkRJQ6. Please provide responses by 20/09/2021.

The purpose of the survey is to further inform issues in a judicial review challenge of Brent’s Allocations Scheme. Representatives of both parties are HLPA members; Sam O’Flaherty of Osbornes Law and Tim Baldwin of Garden Court Chambers for the Claimant and Justin Bates of Landmark Chambers for the Defendant. The survey has been prepared by the Claimant’s representatives.

What is the judicial review challenge about?

It is accepted between the parties that Brent’s 2013 Allocations Scheme, as currently drafted, fails to give reasonable preference to homeless applicants who have not had a main s193(2) homelessness duty accepted, contrary to s166A(3)(a)-(b) of the Housing Act 1996 (as amended). The scheme places them in Band D where they are prohibited from bidding at all. It only affords reasonable preference to those homeless applicants who have had a s193(2) accepted, by placing them in Band C.

A Freedom of Information response from Brent indicated that 847 applicants since 2013 presented as homeless but the main duty was not accepted and were either placed in Band D or had their applications refused. It also confirmed that there are currently 638 applicants in Band D who presented as homeless but have not had a main duty accepted.

Brent are amending the Scheme to rectify the fault and have agreed to take steps to identify affected applicants, with a view to affording them reasonable preference. There is a dispute about whether the proposed steps are adequate and whether the timeframe for amending the Scheme is justified (by January/February 2022, following consultation & approval).

There is also a dispute about whether the Claimant still has standing, as they have had a main duty accepted and been placed in Band C as a result since the challenge was raised.

A permission hearing is due to be listed at the end of October or in November 2021.

If HLPA members know of homeless clients in the Brent area that may fall within the affected group and wish to take part in the proceedings, they are welcome to contact Sam O’Flaherty of Osbornes Law.

Samuel O’Flaherty
Solicitor
Litigation & Housing & Social Care Departments
Direct Dial: 020 7681 8406

Events

Next HLPA Meeting 16th September 2020

The next meeting will be held on 16 September on the topic of Samuels One Year On and the speakers will be Rosaleen Kilbane and Mike McIlvaney from the Community Law Partnership and James Stark from the North West Housing Law Practitioners Group.

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Next HLPA Meeting 15th January 2020

Eligibility and Migrants' Access to Housing The Speakers will be Adrian Berry, Garden Court Chambers and Lou Crisfield, Miles and Partners LLP. The Location of the Meeting will be BPP Law School, Lecture Theatre, Lower Ground Floor, 68-70 Red Lion Street, London, WC1R...

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News and Updates

HLPA CONFERENCE 2021

HLPA Conference 2021 will take place online and it will be held on 9 December 2021. The proposed theme is 'Improving the quality of social housing'. Details to follow.

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Next HLPA Meeting 21 July 2021 – 6:30pm

The next HLPA meeting will be held on 21 July 2021 from 18.30-20.30 on the topic of Developments in Homelessness and Judicial Review. The speakers will be: Derek Bernardi Camden Community Law Centre Sarah Steinhardt Doughty Street Chambers

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HLPA on Twitter

Meetings

Members’ meetings every two months – with speakers at the forefront of housing law giving updates on recent developments and practice.

Papers and notes for past meetings are available for members to download.

Resources

Resources for members – guides, FAQs, precedents and more.

Junior HLPA

A group for housing law practitioners with less than 5 years PQE, trainees and paralegals.

Contact Us

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Professional and media enquiries

Media and professional enquiries should be made to the HLPA co chairs, Simon Mullings and Marina Sergides

Company details

Company limited by Guarantee
Company No: 04320545
Registered Office:
Housing Law Practitioners’ Association
4 Garrett Street
London EC1Y 0TY