Homelessness: Duty to refer

As part of the Homelessness Reduction Act of 2017 many public services have a duty to refer their service users to a local authority if they believe they are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless.

The public services who need to refer their services users to us are:

  • prisons and young offender institutions
  • secure colleges and training centres
  • youth offending teams
  • probation services, including community rehabilitation
  • Jobcentres in England
  • adult and children's social services
  • 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

If you are working with a customer who you are concerned may be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless but you're not from an organisation on this list please contact us for advice:

How to make the referral

If you want to refer one of your service users to us you will need to get their consent first, ideally in writing. Consent is not required for referrals made to safeguard children or vulnerable adults.

Once you have their consent, please complete this form:

Please provide as much information about the person and their situation as possible, to help us respond more effectively.

Please email the completed form to us at:

Although a referral can be sent to any local authority in England, local authorities will usually prioritise referrals who have a local connection to their area. So it is recommended that you discuss which local authority they wish to be referred to with a service user first.

For more information about the duty to refer please see:

Tell us about someone living on the streets

If you are a member of the public and you are concerned about someone living on the streets you can tell us by using the:

The details you provide will be sent to our outreach service so we can find the individual and connect them to the right support.

If you think someone needs urgent medical care or they're under 18 years of age, you should call 999.

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Page last updated: 14 March 2023

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