M was an asylum-seeker who was HIV+. He was fully able to care for himself and function normally, but if he became homeless he was at increased risk of injury. The Court held that M was entitled to residential accommodation from the local authority and did not have to accept asylum support from NASS. Subject to any appeal to the House of Lords by the local authority, this case finally clarifies that the 'destitute plus' test in the National Assistance Act 1948, s 21(1)(A) does simply refer to a person who is destitute and also more vulnerable than a healthy, able-bodied person, for example, because he is also ill.
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Stephen Knafler (instructed by Hackney Community Law Centre) was counsel for the Respondent.