Newham London Borough Council, ex parte Gorenkin [1997] 30 HLR 278 (QBD)

Section 21 National Assistance Act 1948 – food vouchers – residential accommodation

A local authority could not lawfully provide assistance with food, by way of vouchers, under s21 National Assistance Act 1948, without also providing accommodation. It was unlawful for the council to adopt a policy whereby assistance with accommodation would only be offered where officers were satisfied that individuals were either without accommodation or likely to become so imminently. It was possible to envisage a case where someone had accommodation of some sort, but was otherwise wholly destitute, and it was certainly possible that he may then reach a stage where he was in need of care and attention as defined in s21.

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