A LANDMARK case this week ruled that Hillingdon Council unlawfully discriminated against refugees in allocating social housing. 

The Court of Appeal also found that Hillingdon’s residence requirement discriminated against Irish travellers.

The claim, brought under the Equality Act 2010, has significant implications for other councils.

William Ford, a partner at Osbornes Law, acted for Mr Gullu, a refugee, and was supported by the Refugee Council. 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission were also involved as an intervener.

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Mr Ford said: “Hillingdon must now reconsider its housing allocation scheme and the negative impact it presently has on refugees, who are a particularly vulnerable group and regularly have a significant need for social housing.

"The Court of Appeal has not said a 10-year residency requirement is necessarily too long.

“However, it has found in this case Hillingdon did not properly address the impact on non-UK nationals or Irish travellers.”

Maurice Wren, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said: "Policies that make length of residency a condition of entitlement disproportionately affect refugees, who are almost always new to the UK and will have rarely lived in one place for long.”

Hillingdon Council has been asked for a response.