From day 1 of inception, the Forum has said the Council’s policy of not funding bedrooms for the children of fathers who are separated is discriminatory. The Council refuse to fund a child’s bedroom despite the father having residence. Our position has now been vindicated and the Council’s position exposed.
In a recent ruling
A tribunal has found imposing the bedroom tax on a father who said he needed a second room to accommodate his teenage daughter when she stays with him was an infringement of his human rights.
We attempted to take Bedford Borough Council to a Judicial Review in 2012 over this matter but due to lack of funds were unable to proceed.
We have written to the Council requesting that they re-imburse deductions made in light of this ruling.
The man argued that having the arrangements for his daughter to stay with him at weekends and during school holidays, were ‘central to the rights to family life’ under the European Convention on Human Rights. He argued housing benefit regulations should be read in conjunction with the Human Rights Act. He also cited provisions in the Children’s Act 2004, which recognise ‘the importance of parents in improving the well-being of children’.
In his ruling to uphold the appeal, Judge D J McMahon said the tribunal accepted it was possible for a person to be resident in more than one place at a time.
Having multiple residences recognised for a child is potentially a ‘gamechanger’ for fathers and their children.
Judge McMahon found the housing benefit regulations had to be read subject to the ECHR, and that the ‘appellant was entitled to an additional bedroom’.
Giles Peaker, partner at Anthony Gold, described the case as a ‘whole new ground for first-tier tribunal appeals’