What is the Duty to Refer?
The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 introduces a new duty on specified public bodies in England to refer consenting people they think may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to a Councils Housing Options Service (for example, it is likely they will become homeless within 56 days). The duty applies to a range of public bodies as listed below:
- Social Services Authorities (Adult’s and Children’s Social Care)
- NHS Services - A&E Services and Urgent Treatment Centres (Walk in Centre)
- NHS Services – Hospitals (when providing in-patient care)
- Job Centre Plus
- Prisons (Public and Private)
- Probation Services (including Community Rehabilitation Companies)
- Youth offender institutions
- Youth Offending Teams
- Secure Collages and Training Centres
- The Secretary of State for Defence (in relation to members of Royal Navy, Royal Marine, Army (Regular) and Royal Air Force)
It is important that these organisations make these referrals to us so that we can prevent and relieve homelessness effectively.
The statutory duty came into effect on 1 October 2018.