In a homelessness appeal, a London Council's decision that a refugee was not vulnerable was overturned

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Kevin Gannon of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team acted for the appellant.

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In a case involving a decision on a council's homelessness duty, the appellant was a refugee who suffered from severe depression, anxiety and PTSD. The council made a decision that the appellant was not vulnerable. It then revised that decision after the Court of Appeal's recent decision in Panayiotou, but still maintained that the appellant was not vulnerable. On appeal, it was successfully argued that the change to the review decision was one of form only and the new approach required by Panayiotou had not been applied. The judge also rejected the council's argument that the comparator to be used when making a vulnerability assessment need not be a robust and healthy person. The judge found that there was sufficient evidence before the review officer to justify a finding that the appellant was vulnerable, and varied the review decision to that effect.

See also the full judgment.

Kevin Gannon is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team.

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