Duty to refer (professionals only)

Public authorities have a statutory duty to refer service users that they believe to be:

  • homeless
  • threatened with homelessness

It is important that agencies make these referrals to us so that we can prevent and relieve homelessness effectively.

The duty to refer only applies to certain public services. However, we encourage any service provider to refer their service user for housing advice and assistance.

List of public authorities with a duty to refer.

You can also view the governments guide to the duty to refer.

Before making a referral

If the person wishes to approach us directly, further information and how to get in touch with us is available through our advice about homelessness page.

Submitting a duty to refer does not generate a homeless application for the person being referred.

Before making a referral, a public authority must:

  • ensure the service user understands the purpose of the referral
  • have the consent of the person they are referring (including passing on their information and contact details)
  • allow the service user to advise which local authority they would like to be referred to (this does not override our local connection criteria)