*Samuels v Birmingham City Council

Housing – Homeless person. The appellant, whose entire income comprised state benefits, had unsuccessfully applied for homelessness assistance from the respondent local authority. The review decision upheld the determination and concluded that, given the household income, there should have been sufficient flexibility to meet the shortfall in rent. The county court dismissed her appeal. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the appeal and held that benefits income did not have any special status or treatment in the exercise of establishing whether accommodation was affordable, nor was the starting point that benefits were set at subsistence level and were not designed to give a level of flexibility to spend outside maintaining a very basic standard of living on expenditure such as additional housing costs.

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