The duty of specified public authorities to refer a homeless person or a person threatened with homelessness to a council housing team.

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What you need to know...

What is the duty to refer?

From 1 October 2018 certain named public bodies now have a duty to refer users of their service who they have reason to believe are homeless or threatened with becoming homeless within 56 days, to a local authority of the service users’ choice.

The duty is part of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 which came into force on 3 April 2018.

Who is subject to the duty to refer?

The specified public authorities subject to the duty to refer are (in England only):

  • prisons
  • young offender institutions
  • secure training centres
  • secure colleges
  • youth offending teams
  • probation services (including community rehabilitation companies)
  • Jobcentre’s in England
  • social service authorities (both adult and childrens)
  • emergency departments
  • urgent treatment centres
  • hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care
  • Secretary of State for defence in relation to members of the regular armed forces.

Further information

Read more about the duty to refer in the Guide to the Duty to Refer on GOV.UK.

This guide outlines what the purpose of the duty to refer is, some advice for identifying when someone is threatened with homelessness, and what the procedures are for referring someone to a local authority. It also answers some frequently asked questions.

If you have someone you want to refer to us please complete the referral form and we'll contact them for further information.