Griffin v Westminster City Council: CA 28 Jan 2004

The claimant sought emergency rehousing saying that he was a vulnerable person within section 189. The court at first instance had overturned the rejection of his claim by the authority.
Held: The test set out in the statute was to be followed strictly. It asked whether, if he was left homeless he would be less able to fend for himself, so as to suffer some particluar harm. The words of the Homelessness Code were for guidance only and could not override the words of the Act. The Act did not ask whether harm was likely, but whether it would occur. The Act was not to be read down, and the appeal failed. The Secretray of State might wish to reconsider the words used in the Code of Guidance.
Kennedy LJ said: ‘The status of the code is clear from Section 182(1) of the Act. In exercising their functions local housing authorities must ‘have regard to’ the code, but if the code differs from the statute, as interpreted by this court, it is the statute which prevails.’


Kennedy, Clarke, Jacob LJJ


Times 04-Feb-2004, [2004] EWCA Civ 108, Gazette 11-Mar-2004, [2004] HLR 32




Housing Act 1996 189(1)(c)


England and Wales


CitedRegina v London Borough of Camden ex parte Pereira CA 20-May-1998
When considering whether a person was vulnerable so as to be treated more favourably in applying for rehousing: ‘The Council should consider such application afresh applying the statutory criterion: The Ortiz test should not be used; the dictum of . .
CitedRegina v Waveney City Council, ex parte Bowers CA 25-May-1982
The applicant was an alcoholic and had in 1980 been hit by a motor vehicle and suffered a severe head injury. He sought judicial review of the respondent’s failure to house him.
Held: The appeal was allowed: ‘The question we have to consider . .
CitedBennington v Peter; Regina v Swaffham Justices ex parte Peter QBD 1984
The applicant held a heavy goods vehicle licence. He became diabetic. The licensing authority refused to renew his licence. He appealed.
Held: The justices had used the wrong test, saying he could not be said not to be likeley to suffer a . .

Cited by:

CitedShala and Another v Birmingham City Council CA 27-Jun-2007
The claimants succeeded in their applications for asylum, and then applied for housing assistance. They now appealed refusal of such assistance. The issue was how the authority had treated their medical evidence in the review process. Mrs Shala was . .
CitedHarouki v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea CA 17-Oct-2007
The applicant sought housing as a homeles person. Her present accommodation for herself, her husband and five children was so overcrowded that continued occupation was a criminal offence. She appealed a finding that it was reasonable to continue . .
CitedLondon Borough of Wandsworth v Allison CA 15-Apr-2008
The claimant had applied for emergency housing, saying that he had suffered a deep vein thrombosis, and was vulnerable under the 1996 Act. The authority said that its finding that the VT would not put him at additional risk if homeless, was one of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 09 June 2022; Ref: scu.192635