Duty to refer

Duty to refer

From 1 October 2018 certain named public bodies 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.

Under section 213B the public authorities specified in regulations are required to notify a housing authority of service users they consider may be homeless or threatened with homelessness (i.e. it is likely they will become homeless within 56 days).

Before making a referral a public authority must:
1. Have consent to the referral from the individual
2. Allow the individual to identify the housing authority in England which they would like the notification to be made to
3. Have consent from the individual that their contact details can be supplied so the housing authority can contact them regarding the referral

The duty to refer only applies to public authorities in England and individuals can only be referred to housing authorities in England.

The public authority is not required to carry out a housing needs assessment.

Duty to refer- Who does it apply to?

The public authorities which are subject to the duty to refer are specified in The Homelessness ( Review Procedure etc) Regulations 2018. The Public services included in the duty are as follows:

  • Prisons
  • Youth offending
  • Secure training centers
  • Secure colleges
  • Youth offending teams
  • Probation services ( including rehabilitation companies)
  • Jobcentre plus
  • Social services authorities
  • Emergency departments
  • Urgent treatment centers
  • Hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care

How to refer

Agencies can make their referral in two easy steps:
1. Complete the Duty to Refer Referral form (You must have consent to the referral from the individual).
2. Submit the completed form to DutyToRefer@selby.gcsx.gov.uk

Here is a one minute guide which has more information