Judicial Review Proceedings relating to the Caravan Loan Scheme.
In early 2018, CLM was contacted by an advocacy group in relation to clients who had been liaising with a local authority to access a loan to purchase a caravan. The clients were members of the Traveller Community and lived with their young family in a Day Unit. The family applied to the local authority’s new caravan loan scheme in 2017 and were approved in principle for a loan a couple of months later. They identified a suitable caravan, underwent a credit check, a household budget authorisation and signed an agreement with the local authority. However, by January 2018 very little progress had been made and in February 2018, the local authority in question wrote to the advocacy group noting that the Caravan Loan Scheme had been suspended.
CLM wrote to the Local Authority in question noting that the clients were entitled to access this scheme and that the Local Authority were not permitted to suspended the scheme without cause. When the local authority did not reply, CLM initiated judicial review proceedings in the High Court on the client’s behalf on the grounds that by suspending the scheme, the Local Authority acted in breach of its obligations under the Housing Acts, the Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights Act, that the local authority had acted in breach of the doctrine of legitimate expectation, that they had unlawfully fettered their own discretion and that their decision was an error of law. The ex parte leave application was successful. A couple of days after papers were served, the local authority wrote to notify CLM that the caravan would be provided to the family. In the summer of 2018, the caravan was delivered to the family.
Prior to delivering of the caravan, this family had been forced to live in a small Day Unit and porta- cabin with three very young children. As a result of CLM’s intervention, the clients were able to source more suitable accommodation of their young family.