This is an interesting case because a housing association was held not to be a public authority for the purposes of Environmental Information Regulations.
It has never been very clear as to how far housing associations are seen to be public authorities and this case questions how far the principle extends to them. On appeal it stated that "It was a matter of context, and the effect of the regulatory scheme in question. In the present context, the information on the regulatory regime under which housing associations operated was limited; it was not clear how the regulation of social housing had caused Poplar to be regarded as an administrative authority".
Housing Associations shouldn't therefore assume they are always bound by requirements imposed on public authorities and if in any doubt it is best to take advice on the context and operation of the specific regulation or law.
The First-tier Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Tribunal) had been correct in concluding that the first respondent housing association was not a public authority for the purposes of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004;SI 3391/04 and was therefore not subject to the information request requirements.