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This guidance provides an overview of the duty to refer, which will help public authorities understand how to administer the duty. The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 significantly reformed England’s homelessness legislation by placing duties on local housing authorities to intervene at earlier stages to prevent homelessness in their areas, and to provide homelessness services to all those who are eligible.
Additionally, the Act introduced a duty on specified public authorities to refer service users who they think may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to local authority homelessness/housing options teams (see paragraph 7 of the Homelessness code of guidance). This duty is effective from 1 October 2018 and will apply to a list of public authorities, click here for the list.
The duty to refer will help to ensure that services are working together effectively to prevent homelessness by ensuring that peoples’ housing needs are considered when they come into contact with public authorities.
Also see the The Homelessness Reduction Act: At a glance guide