*Hotak v Southwark London Borough Council; Kanu v Southwark London Borough Council; Johnson v Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

Housing – Homeless person. The appellants had all applied for accommodation on the basis that they were in priority need, under s 189(1)(c) of the Housing Act 1996. Their applications were refused and the appellants were unsuccessful before the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court held, inter alia, that, in order to decide whether an applicant fell within s 189(1)(c) of the Act, an authority or reviewing officer should compare him with an ordinary person if made homeless, not an ordinary actual homeless person. Further, when deciding if an applicant was 'vulnerable', one had to take into account such services and support that would be available to him he were homeless. It did not matter, at least in principle, whether the support was provided pursuant to a legal obligation. However, the question whether there was a legal obligation on the third party to provide the support could sometimes be relevant, in that it might be said to be intrinsically more likely that a person would continue to provide support if he had a legal obligation to do so.

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