West Law Report

No priority for former addict

Posted in Times Law Report by mrkooenglish on December 5, 2008

From The Times
December 3, 2008
No priority for former addict

Court of Appeal

Published December 3, 2008

Simms v Islington London Borough Council

The risk that a recovering drug addict’s relapse might be caused by his homelessness did not entitle him to be treated as having a priority need for accommodation.

The Court of Appeal (Lord Justice Ward, Lord Justice Moore-Bick and Lord Justice Rimer) so held on October 16, 2008, when dismissing an appeal by James Simms from Judge Simpson on November 27, 2007 at Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court who upheld the decision of the London Borough of Islington, that he was not in priority need for accommodation within section 189 of the Housing Act 1996.

LORD JUSTICE WARD said that the claimant, a homeless man with a history of drug use, had received addiction therapy.

The issue was whether he was vulnerable as a result of old age, mental illness or handicap or physical disability or other special reason within section 189.

The decision-maker had properly applied the test set out by the Court of Appeal in R v Camden Borough Council, Ex parte Pereira ((1999) 31 HLR 317) and Osmani v Camden London Borough Council ([2005] HLR 22).

The council were aware that the claimant had been seeking assistance to deal with his drug abuse and were entitled on a consideration of all the facts to conclude that with help and support there was no sufficiently substantial risk of detriment giving rise to vulnerability within section 189.


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