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Duty to refer

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Duty to refer

If you are a public authority in England, you must tell us about service users who are homeless, or at risk of being homeless.  

Before making a referral, you must have the person’s consent to: 

  • make the referral to us 
  • share their details so that we can contact them to discuss the referral 

Call us on 020 7974 5801 if you need advice or guidance before making the referral. For hospital discharges contact [email protected]. For prison releases, contact [email protected].  

If your organisation makes regular referrals to us, email [email protected] to discuss joint working.  

If you’re making a referral due to a hospital discharge, please include the person’s discharge date. 

Complete the duty to refer form 

What happens next 

We will contact the service user to assess if they:

  • have recourse to public funds
  • are homeless or at risk of being homeless 

If you have consent to share information, please email the details to [email protected]. You should include the form reference number that you received. 

Relevant information could include:

  • details of other professionals or services working with the service user 
  • any assessments you have recently completed around support or housing needs
  • any helpful documents

If we need more information, we will contact you to request this. 

A referral made by a partner agency under the duty to refer is not a homeless application. Our statutory duties are only triggered when a service user gives us reason to believe that they may be homeless, or at risk of being homeless.