About the duty to refer

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 introduced a new duty on specified public bodies in England. This duty requires them to refer people they think are homeless or are at risk of homelessness to us.

It is important that these organisations make referrals to us. This will help us intervene earlier to prevent and relieve homelessness.

These public bodies have a duty to refer people to us:

  • Social services authorities (adults' and children's social care)
  • NHS services – including A&E, urgent treatment centres (walk in centres) and 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 colleges and training centres
  • The Secretary of State for Defence (in relation to members of Royal Navy, Royal Marine, Army (Regular) and Royal Air Force)

Page last updated: 5 February 2024

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