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Duty to refer

Guidance on the duty on public bodies to refer service users that may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to a local housing authority.

What is the duty to refer?

As of 1 October 2018, the Homelessness Reduction Act introduces a new requirement on specified public authorities in England to notify councils of service users they think may be homeless or threatened with becoming homeless.

I am part of an organisation, how can I refer someone?

If you are part of an organisation, whether it is specified below or not, please use our safe and secure online referral system.

Which public authorities have the duty to refer?
  • Prisons (public and private);
  • Youth offender institutions;
  • Secure training centres;
  • Secure colleges;
  • Youth offending teams;
  • Probation services (community rehabilitation companies and national probation service);
  • Jobcentre Plus;
  • Accident and emergency services provided in a hospital;
  • Urgent treatment centres (Urgent treatment centres include services locally designated as such, and all other providers of community and primary urgent care, including services locally designated as urgent care centres, minor injury units, minor injury services and walk in centres);
  • Hospitals in their capacity of providing in-patient treatment (Inpatient care means persons who are receiving medical or other treatment as inpatients (admitted patients) in a hospital.); and
  • Social service authorities.
Last modified: 19 September 2018