Duty to Refer (Professionals)

With effect from 1 October 2018, the Schedule to the Homelessness (Review Procedure etc.) Regulations 2018 SI 2018/223 listing public authorities subject to the duty to refer under section 213B Housing Act 1996 comes into force. A specified public authority, which includes prisons, job centre plus and social services, must notify a local housing authority where one of its service users is either homeless or at risk of homelessness. However, no referral can be made without the consent of the service user. The government has issued 'A guide to the duty to refer', to provide guidance for referring authorities.

This guidance includes answers to 'frequently asked questions', as well as sections on obtaining consent, and choosing which authority to refer to. Where a housing authority has not established a referral mechanism, a simple referral form is available on Gov.uk. Additional guidance for local authorities can be found in the Homelessness Code of Guidance.

If you are a public body you are able to use our online form below to refer 

Online referral

Please use the following email address for any other enquiries  - dutytorefer@breckland.gov.uk

Public bodies included in the 'Duty to Refer'

The 'Duty to Refer' commenced in October 2018. The agencies have this duty are:

  • Prisons
  • Youth offender institutions
  • Secure training centres
  • Secure colleges
  • Youth offending teams
  • Probation services (including community rehabilitation companies)
  • Jobcentre Plus
  • Social service authorities
  • Emergency departments
  • Urgent treatment centres
  • Hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care
  • The Secretary of State for Defence is also subject to the duty to refer in relation to the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the regular Army and the Royal Air Force.

Last updated: 03/06/2020 11:48:41