Mother and disabled daughter appeal court decision over housing

High Court rejected claim council should provide family with house near hospital

A mother and her disabled daughter have appealed over the rejection of their challenge to a council’s refusal to provide them with a house closer to a hospital which the daughter attends for treatment.

The High Court last year rejected their challenge to the council’s decision. Their local council had offered instead to adapt and upgrade their current rented accommodation to meet the daughter’s needs. The council said it did not have appropriate accommodation near the hospital.

The daughter is aged 28 but is said to have the mental age of a 12 year-old. She has cerebral palsy, uses a wheelchair and is fully dependent on her mother for care. She also has a persistent respiratory infection for which she is treated at an outpatient clinic in a hospital about 42km from her home.

They say they should get a suitable house which is within 8km of the hospital.

In her High Court judgment dismissing their challenge, Ms Justice Marie Baker said it seemed to her to be outside her competence, and not a matter for judicial review, to direct the council provide a house within the narrow geographical radius identified. To do so would be to engage in an assessment of the housing stock, and the needs of the applicants, which is outside the power of the court, she said.

The Court of Appeal, comprising Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne, Mr Justice Michael Peart and Mr Justice Gerard Hogan, heard the mother and daughter's appeal on Tuesday. At the conclusion of legal submissions, it reserved judgment.