Duty to Refer


Under the new duty to refer, the public authorities listed below 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. (a) have consent to the referral from the individual;
  2. (b) allow the individual to identify the housing authority in England which they would like the notification to be made to; and,
  3. (c) 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 authorities which are subject to the duty to refer are as follows:

  1. (a) prisons;
  2. (b) youth offender institutions;
  3. (c) secure training centres;
  4. (d) secure colleges;
  5. (e) youth offending teams;
  6. (f) probation services (including community rehabilitation companies);
  7. (g) Jobcentre Plus;
  8. (h) social service authorities;
  9. (i) emergency departments;
  10. (j) urgent treatment centres; and,
  11. (k) hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care.

The Secretary of State for Defence is also subject to the duty to refer in relation to members of the regular forces. The regular forces are the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the regular army and the Royal Air Force.

If you are a professional wanting to make a referral in accordance with the Duty to Refer, please click the link below and complete the online form.

Any other enquiries regarding this duty can be directed to dutytorefer@arun.gov.uk