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The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 introduces a new duty on specified public bodies in England to refer consenting people they believe to be homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days. The duty applies to a range of public bodies as listed below:

  • Prisons;
  • Youth offender institutions;
  • Secure training centres;
  • Secure colleges;
  • Youth offending teams;
  • Probation services;
  • Jobcentre Plus;
  • Social service authorities; Adults and Children’s Social Care
  • NHS emergency departments;
  • NHS urgent treatment centres;
  • NHS hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care

It is important that these organisations make these referrals to us so that we can prevent and relieve homelessness effectively. The statutory duty came into effect on 1 October 2018.

How to make a referral

You can make a referral via the Locata referral system:

If you are referring someone who is already homeless, please ring 01926 456129 option 2 for further advice. If you are calling out of hours this number will be diverted to the Emergency Duty Team.   

If you are referring a person that is already homeless, whilst they have the right to be referred to any Local Housing Authority in England. It is preferable that they are referred to the local area where they have the strongest local connection (an area they have lived or worked previously or where they have close family members such as parents, siblings or adult children).

Before you start

Before making a referral, the referring public body must:

  • Have consent to the referral from the person(s) being referred
  • Allow the individual to identify the housing authority in England which they would like to be referred
  • Have consent that the person’s contact details can be given so the housing authority can contact them regarding the referral