Homelessness - duty to refer

Some public authorities have a duty to tell us about people they think may be homeless or threatened with homelessness. This helps to make sure that we are working together to prevent homelessness wherever we can.

Which public authorities does this apply to?

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

Before making a referral, the public authority must:

  • have the consent of the person to make the referral
  • allow the person to identify the housing authority in England that they would like the referral to be made to
  • have the consent of the person for their contact details to be supplied so that the housing authority can contact them about their referral

How to make a referral

If you are a public authority and you want to refer someone who is homeless or threatened with homelessness, you can either:

Once we have received a referral, we will contact the person concerned as soon as possible to try and resolve their housing issue.