Duty to Refer
What does this mean?
On 01 October 2018, a duty was introduced to specific Public Authorities to refer service users who they think may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to the Local Authority Housing Options Team. This is to allow Housing Authorities the opportunity to intervene at earlier stages to prevent homelessness and provide housing advice to all those that are eligible.
There are several factors that may help a Public Authority in identifying whether a referral to Housing Options should be made, this may include:
- Problems with debt
- Problems with a landlord, being threatened with eviction or served notice to leave
- Being a victim of domestic abuse, or other forms of violence, threats or intimidation
- Approaching discharge from hospital, armed forces or release from custody, with no accommodation available to them.
- Having previously been in care, the armed forces or in prison
What information should I supply when referring a household?
We require the following information about the service user:
- Consent from the applicant
- Contact details
- Reason why the referral is being made
Which public authorities have a duty to refer?
The specified Public Authorities subject to the duty are:
- Young Offender institutions
- Secure training facilities
- Secure colleges
- Youth offending teams
- Probation services (including community rehabilitation companies)
- Social Service authorities
- Emergency departments
- Urgent treatment centres
- Hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care
- Secretary of State for defence in relation to members of the regular armed forces
The Duty to Refer only applies to the specified Public Authorities in England.
If we are listed as a Public Authority - how do I make a referral?
If you believe the service user is homeless or threatened with homelessness then you will need to complete the online triage form via the Jigsaw Alert Portal (link opens in a new window) or alternatively you can email us at email@example.com.
What will we do once the referral is received?
Once we have received the referral we shall make contact with the applicant and make the appropriate enquiries with the household. It is likely we will make contact with the referral agency for further information.
What if I believe a referral has already been made?
Some service users may be receiving support from a number of different agencies so a referral may have already been made. However situations may arise where somebody`s circumstances have changed since the last referral. If there is any doubt we welcome your referral via the Duty to Refer link given above.