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Intentional homelessness post-Doka and Samuels: where are we now?

Tuesday 17 September 2019, 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Garden Court Chambers

Date: Tuesday 17 September 2019
Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Venue: Garden Court Chambers, 57-60 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ  
Cost: £30
Areas of Law: Housing Law

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Cost: £25.00 + VAT

In this seminar we will discuss current issues in the law on intentional homelessness in light of the decisions of the Court of Appeal in Doka v Southwark LBC and the Supreme Court Samuels v Birmingham CC. 

In Samuels, the Supreme Court found that the local authority had been wrong to find the applicant intentionally homeless in circumstances where, in order to meet the shortfall between her housing benefit and her rent, she would have needed to dip into her subsistence benefits, which the court observed ‘are not generally designed to provide a surplus above subsistence needs for the family’.

In doing so the court gave guidance as to the assessment of affordability of accommodation in the homelessness context. The seminar will consider how to approach affordability questions in the light of the decision, including questions the case leaves open. 

The seminar will also consider other current issues arising in practice, in particular the question of settled accommodation. In Doka, the Court of Appeal held that an applicant who had rented a room from his employer for a two year period following the loss of his home, had not been living in ‘settled’ accommodation and that the local authority had been correct to subsequently find him intentionally homeless. The Supreme Court refused permission to appeal against this decision in May 2018 while commenting that ‘there may be errors in the reasoning in the Court of Appeal, which should not be treated as authoritative’.


At this seminar two of the counsel involved in these cases (Adrian Marshall Williams and Connor Johnston) will discuss the practical impact of these important decisions on the law on intentional homelessness. The seminar will be chaired by Tessa Buchanan, co-author of Housing Allocation and Homelessness (Lexis, 5th Ed 2018).

Book Online

To book your place on this seminar, please use the booking form below. If you have any queries, please contact the Garden Court Chambers events team at

Book Online

To book your place on this webinar, please use the booking form below. If you have any queries, please contact the Garden Court Chambers events team at

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