Duty to refer

This page is for professionals who want to refer a homeless person to the council

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 places a duty on certain public bodies to refer anyone they consider to be homeless to a local authority. This is called the duty to refer.

The following services are listed in the regulations as public authorities with a duty to refer:

  • prisons (public and contracted out)
  • youth offender institutions and youth offending teams
  • secure training centres (public and contracted out) and colleges
  • probation services (community rehabilitation companies and national probation service)
  • jobcentre plus
  • accident and emergency services provided in a hospital
  • urgent treatment centres, and hospitals in their capacity of providing in-patient treatment
  • social service authorities

If you are referring on behalf of somebody and they have asked that you refer to North Somerset you can visit the Housing Jigsaw website and click on the duty to refer button. If you haven’t used it before you will need to register.

For more information about duty to refer, visit the Gov.UK website.

The person being referred can choose which local housing authority they wish to be referred to, but we would advise that they should choose a local authority with which they have a local connection. Generally, this is somewhere they live or have lived, where they work or have a close family connection. They should not be referred to an area where they would be at risk of violence.

If you have any queries call our homeless prevention team on 01934 426 330.