Homelessness and allocations: Bringing challenges in the new landscape

Thursday 18 June 2015, 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Garden Court Chambers

Date: Thursday 18 June 2015
Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Venue: Garden Court Chambers, 57-60 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ  
Areas of Law: Housing Law

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The aim of this seminar is to provide an update on the latest legal developments in the areas of homelessness and allocations, providing practitioners with practical tips, guidance and tactics on how to challenge adverse decisions in light of recent important case law and legislative changes. It is aimed at practitioners of all levels working in these areas.

The seminar will be split into two parts led by Connor Johnston and Ed Fitzpatrick respectively.


This year has seen significant changes to the area of homelessness law, with three recent Supreme Court decisions which have changed the legal landscape considerably for homeless applicants. The first part of the seminar will focus on the practical impact of the following cases:

  • Nzolameso v Westminster CC - on out of borough placements and the best interests of the child
  • Hotak v Southwark LBC, Kanu v Southwark LBC and Johnson v Solihull MBC – on vulnerability and the public sector equality duty
  • Haile v Waltham Forest LBC – on intentional homelessness


The extent to which Authorities can restrict those who qualify to be considered on new allocations schemes, and the extent of the “reasonable preference” requirements have been considered in these recent cases. The second part of the seminar will consider what further challenges are available:

  • R (on the application of) Jakimaviciute v Hammersmith & Fulham LBC
  • R (on the application of) Hillesden v Epping Forest DC


Connor Johnston practises primarily in housing, homelessness and community care. He is committed to representing the interests of those who are homeless or at risk of losing their home.

Ed Fitzpatrick is a specialist housing practitioner with particular expertise in homelessness appeals, cases involving human rights issues, and public law challenges. His judicial review work often involves challenges to allocation schemes, provision of emergency accommodation and acceptance of applications.

Stephen Marsh (Chair) has a broad civil law practice in which issues of social welfare and discrimination are central. Stephen is experienced in homelessness issues and related appeals, and also has expertise in cases with public law and human rights dimensions.

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