Duty to Refer: people at risk of homelessness


The Duty to Refer came into force on 1 October 2018.

The Duty to Refer is a legal duty under the Homeless Reduction Act 2017 (HRA).

It applies to ‘specified public authorities’ that consider someone they are working with is homeless, or may be threatened with homelessness. It states that these organisations have a duty to refer that person to a local authority for assistance, provided the person agrees to the referral being made.

Public authorities that fall under the duty include: prisons; youth offending teams and institutions; secure training centres and colleges; probation services and rehabilitation companies; JobCentre Plus; social services; emergency and urgent treatment centres; hospitals providing in-patient care; and the regular forces of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and Royal Air Force.

We’ve introduced a new system to make it easier for these organisations to refer people to us for support:

  1. Sign up to ALERT on the Housing Jigsaw website
  2. Enter details of your organisation
  3. Provide details of the household being referred
  4. Complete a ‘consent to share’ declaration
  5. Submit

Please be aware that referral to us doesn’t guarantee the person will be housed.  Each case will be assessed on its merits and the person, or household, referred will receive assistance based on their circumstances.

You can read more about the Duty to Refer and the Homelessness Reduction Act on GOV.UK

If you have any questions or require assistance, please email us here.