This chapter focuses on the three councils' implementation of a provision of the Act in respect of which there is widespread agreement that local authorities do suffer ‘particular difficulty’: the concept of intentional homelessness. The data presented strengthens the impression that many of Midland's decisions were clearly ultra vires. It also suggests that, while Western's officers were most unlikely to make basic legal mistakes, they might on occasion produce unlawful decisions when faced with unusual situations. While Eastern's implementation of s.60 was less legally ‘correct’ than Western's, in the sense that officers did not refer to case law to justify their conclusions, there was little indication that the HPU systemically made substantively indefensible decisions. In contrast, Midland's more regular and fundamental legal errors produced a substantively more restrictive (and overtly ultra vires) interpretation of intentionality.
Keywords: Housing (Homeless Persons) Act 1977; homelessness legislation; city councils; ultra vires; Eastern Council; Midland City Council; Western Borough Council
Chapter. 9317 words.
Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law
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