Homelessness is a Local Phenomenon

When a homeless man from Eastbourne applied for assistance under the Housing Act 1996, the local council accepted that he met the necessary criteria. However, he did not apply for housing in Eastbourne. Instead, he made his request to Westminster Council in London.

Westminster refused his application on the ground that he did not meet the criteria for homelessness; he could obtain accommodation in Eastbourne if he applied.

The case ended up in the Court of Appeal, which ruled in favour of the Council. The Court agreed that the fact that he could obtain accommodation in Eastbourne did not mean he was not capable of being regarded as homeless, but agreed that Westminster did not have a duty to provide him with accommodation.

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