Duty to refer

Details of how to refer someone who is homeless if you are a public body.

Some public bodies have a duty to refer homeless customers to the Council.

These include:

  • prisons
  • youth offender institutions
  • secure training centres
  • secure colleges
  • youth offender teams
  • probation
  • Jobcentre Plus
  • social service authorities
  • Accident and emergency departments
  • urgent treatment centres
  • hospitals providing inpatient care

Make a referral

You may refer someone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

If you work for one of the above public bodies and become aware of a homeless person you must have:

  • the person's consent to make the referral
  • ask the person which council they want the referral sent to
  • consent to share personal data with the council 

You can then complete a referral online using the Housing Assistance Referral Portal (external link). You will need to provide your details and the homeless person’s personal details (including their name, date of birth, contact email or telephone number). You will also need to provide details of how they have become homeless and any other relevant information. We will then contact the homeless person and book an appointment with them to explore their options.  

Before submitting the application, please use the find your local council tool on the GOV.UK website (external link) to check you are referring the person to the correct council.