Protocol 1 (1): Property

Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by (national and international) law.
This provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right of a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest, the payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties.

Mr. Burnip; Ms. Trengove; and the Gory family
These three homes wqere all threatened by the new housing benefit rules bought in in the wake of the banking crisis.

Mr. Gory had severe mobility and associated problems, and it was accepted by the Appeal Court that he needed 24 housr care. However the new housing benefit rules allowed rooms only for people for whom the client’s house was their home. Another person, Ms. Trengove as in the same position.

Mrs. Gory also had a disability, and two of the couple’s three children were severely disabled. Natasha aged 10 had Downs syndrome and Hannah aged 8 had spina bifida. The problem for this family’s assessment of housing needs lay in the contrasting personalities of the two girls: Natasha was boisterous and Hannah was anxious and “fragile”. It was accepted by the agencies that sleeping the two girls together risked a reception into care as the whole family would suffer as a knock-on from Hannah’s inability to sleep with Natasha’s noise and restlessness. However the housing benefit rules brought in as a response to the banking crisis expected same sex children to sleep two in a room.

The Appeal Court accepted that these needs for an extra bedroom were genuine and ruled that the councils had discriminated against the families because they had failed to follow the European Convention and HR Act caselaw that requires that not only must people not be discriminated against, but also that compensation must be provided for the effect of their disabilities.

The court also argued that the numbers of people with such severe needs were small so that the expense to the tax payer would not be onerous.