Duty to refer
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. This duty is effective from 1 October 2018 when the list of public authorities comes into force.
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. It is also anticipated that it will encourage local housing authorities and other public authorities to build strong partnerships which enable them to work together to intervene earlier to prevent homelessness through increasingly integrated services.
Public bodies with a Duty to Refer
The specified public authorities subject to the Duty to Refer are:
• Young 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;
• Secretary of State for defence in relation to members of the regular armed forces.
How to refer a customer to Doncaster:
If you believe that someone is homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days you will need to refer the customer into the Home Options Service.
In Doncaster we are using ALERT to support our public bodies and partner to make a referral, it is free and is fully GDPR compliant.
To register for your free ALERT account as a specified public body or wider agency.