On 11 March the High Court published this important decision. Homeless persons with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) can be lawfully provided with accommodation by local authorities during the pandemic. Helpful clarity for local authorities.
The case also highlighted the stark and harsh reality of homelessness during the Covid-19 pandemic. University College London research was considered which found that during just three months of the "Everyone In" campaign to house all rough sleepers during the first 2020 lockdown, those measures had avoided over 21,000 Covid-19 infections, 1164 hospital admissions, 338 ICU admissions and 266 deaths. Although the claimant had been rehoused by the Home Office elsewhere by the time of the court hearing, the court allowed it to proceed as an academic claim due to the question of law of importance beyond this case potentially affecting many other applicants for accommodation.
The full law report of the R(Ncube) v Brighton and Hove DC case can be found here.
High Court rules councils can lawfully house people with NRPF during pandemic Councils can lawfully provide emergency accommodation to people not usually eligible for homelessness assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, a High Court judge has ruled..... The judge ruled that during the pandemic councils can lawfully provide accommodation to rough sleepers who are normally ineligible for support under Section 138 of the Local Government Act 1972 and Section 2B of the NHS Act 2006. Section 138 of the Local Government Act 1972 states that councils can provide accommodation and support during an emergency that involves danger to life. Section 2B of the NHS Act 2006 gives councils powers to provide emergency accommodation to improve the public health of people who live in their area.