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Duty to Refer

The Duty to Refer is a legal duty under the Homeless Reduction Act 2017 and came into force on 1 October 2018.

What is the Act?

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.

What authorities does this include?

Public authorities that fall under the duty include prisons; youth offending teams and institutions; secure training centres and colleges; probation services and rehabilitation companies; Job Centre 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.

How to refer someone

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 a referral 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.

For more information

Duty to Refer and the Homelessness Reduction Act on Gov.UK