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Duty to refer

From the 1st October 2018, some public bodies will have a legal duty to refer a person(s) to a housing authority if they have reason to believe they will be homeless within the next 56 days. These are the public services included:

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

Before you start

A referral does not replace a homeless application. The referred person(s) will still need to complete a homeless application if they wish to seek our help. Before making a referral, the public must:

  1. Have consent to the referral from the person(s) being referred
  2. Allow the individual to identify the housing authority in England which they would like to be referred to
  3. Have consent that the applicants contact details can be given so the housing authority can contact them regarding the referral

You will need

  1. Details for the applicant, including preferred method of contact
  2. To confirm that you have consent to the referral from the person(s)

If you represent one of the organisations listed above, you have reason to believe that someone (or household) accessing or leaving your service will be without a home within the next 56 days, and you have their consent. Please make a referral.

The link gives you easy and secure access to a referral portal where you can refer with confidence in the knowledge your information will be received and acted upon. The service is free, but you will need to register the first time you use it.

If you are not sure if your organisation is included in the list above, or you know it isn’t but you would like to bring someone to our attention anyway, please email the Duty to Refer Team.


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