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Make a homelessness referral (duty to refer)

Under section 213B of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2018, specified public authorities are required to notify a housing authority of service users they consider may be homeless or threatened with homelessness (it is likely they will become homeless within 56 days).

Public authorities who are subject to the duty to refer

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

  • prisons
  • youth offender institutions
  • secure training centres
  • secure colleges
  • youth offending teams
  • probation services (including community rehabilitation companies)
  • Jobcentre Plus
  • social service authorities
  • emergency departments
  • urgent treatment centres
  • hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care

Before making a referral, a public authority must: 

  • have consent to the referral from the individual
  • allow the individual to identify the housing authority in England which they would like the notification to be made to and,
  • have consent from the individual that their contact details can be supplied so the housing authority can contact them regarding the referral 

How to make a referral

How long will it take?

Your referral will be assessed and allocated to housing advisors within 72 hours. Some DTRs will be processed more urgently depending on the situation. The housing advisor will then have 10 days to contact you. If the case is more urgent then the housing advisor will make contact much earlier.