Duty to refer

From October 2018, certain public authorities must notify a local housing authority in England where one of its service users:

  • may be homeless or at risk of homelessness, and
  • agrees with the referral

The public authorities with duty to refer are:

  • prisons (public and contracted out)
  • youth offender institutions and youth offending teams
  • secure training centres (public and contracted out) and colleges
  • probation services (community rehabilitation companies and national probation service)
  • Jobcentre plus
  • accident and emergency services provided in a hospital

There is a duty on public bodies to refer any individuals who are:

  • prison leavers
  • care leavers
  • former members of the regular armed forces
  • victims of domestic abuse
  • people leaving hospital
  • persons experiencing mental ill-health
  • other groups identified as being at risk of homelessness in a specific authority area
  • homeless
  • at risk of homelessness

To refer individuals to their local authority you can:

You can find out more information on the Government duty to refer website [external link]. You can also read the North East Local Housing Authorities procedure [pdf document]. 

Please contact us if the referral is urgent and the service user has no accommodation tonight. You can call the Housing Options team on 01325 405333. If you need help about homelessness outside of these hours you can call 01642 524552.