October 20th, 2017 by James Goudie KC

In Hotak v Southwark LBC (2016) AC 811 the Supreme Court ruled that “vulnerable” for priority need purposes connotes “significantly” more vulnerable than ordinarily vulnerable as a result of being rendered homeless.  But what is meant by “significantly” in this context?  The Court of Appeal has attempted to answer that question in joint appeals Panayiotou v Walsham Forest LBC and Smith v Haringey LBC, (2017) EWCA Civ 1624.  It means “at risk of more harm in a significant way”. That is an evaluative judgment in relation to any given set of facts: paragraph 64.

Another issue in the case was whether homelessness decision review functions can be contracted out. They can be, says the Court of Appeal.  The PSED does not prevent that.

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