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Are you referring someone who may be homeless?

Duty to refer

We have a duty to prevent and relieve homelessness. Under the Homeless Reduction Act 2017 some Public Agencies have a duty to refer households they believe are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Public Agencies include:

  • prisons
  • young offender institutions
  • secure training centres
  • secure colleges
  • youth offending teams
  • probation services (including community rehabilitation companies)
  • Jobcentres in England
  • social service authorities (both adult and children’s)
  • 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

However, we encourage all partner agencies to let us know as soon as possible if you believe a household needs our help.

If you work for a partner agency you can register and then refer to our Housing Options Team via Housing Jigsaw ALERT . You must have your client’s permission to make a referral.

We will attempt to make contact with the named person within 10 working days to verify the situation and inform you whether or not we were able to make contact.

The government has also produced guidance  on the duty to refer.

If you have any problems using the referral portal please phone our Housing Needs Team on 01235 422 452 or email us on .

If you are not able to access Alert then please complete the government’s referral form

Please send the form to the following email address

Advice for agencies about their duty to refer and help people at risk of homelessness