Published On: 24th May 2022

The High Court has ruled that a London council unlawfully excluded an overcrowded family from priority on its housing waiting list.

Milton Laines Roman has been living with his wife and children in a small studio apartment for over five years.

When the family applied to join Southwark council’s housing register in 2018, the council’s own housing allocation policy dictated that they should have been prioritised for council housing because they were living in overcrowded accommodation.

However, Southwark refused to prioritise the family’s application for housing, claiming that their overcrowding had been caused by their own ‘deliberate act’.

The High Court has now ruled that an applicant for council housing cannot be said to have caused their own statutory overcrowding by a ‘deliberate act’ if they lack the funds to afford more suitable housing.

Milton Laines Roman was represented at the High Court by the Public Interest Law Centre and Jamie Burton QC and Caragh Nimmo of Doughty Street Chambers.

A full press release is here.