Duty to refer

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 has placed a duty of specified public bodies to notify a local housing authority of service users they consider may be homeless or threatened with homelessness (for example, it’s likely they will become homeless within 56 days).

Before making a referral a public authority must:

  • have consent to the referral from the individual
  • allow the individual to identify the housing authority in England which they would like the notification to be made to; and
  • have consent from the individual that their contact details can be supplied so the housing authority can contact them regarding the referral

The public services included in the duty are as follows:

  • prisons
  • youth offender institutions
  • secure training centres
  • secure colleges
  • youth offending teams
  • probation services (including community rehabilitation companies)
  • Jobcentre Plus
  • social service authorities
  • emergency departments
  • urgent treatment centres
  • hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care

For more guidance on the Duty to Refer please visit gov.uk

Our preferred method to make a referral under the Duty to Refer is through our secure portal. Please note these referrals will be picked up and triaged within 5 working days and therefore if your duty to refer case is regarding someone who is homeless today please also follow up the referral with a call to the office on 01843 577277.


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