Public duty to refer homelessness

From 1 October 2018, under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, public services have a duty to refer those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness to housing services, with the applicants consent. 

Who does the public duty to refer relate to? 

Public services are defined as: 

  • Health services – including accident and emergency, in-patient and all mental health services
  • Social care services
  • Children’s services
  • 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

Although the ‘duty to refer’ does not formally apply, Greater Manchester Police and registered housing providers have also agreed voluntarily to refer those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness to housing services. 

How do I refer someone who is threatened with or is homeless in Salford? 

Greater Manchester authorities have designed and agreed to use one short referral form to ensure consistency across the region.

  • First of all, please get the individual's consent to refer them and then complete the below referral form.

Referral form

Please note that each local authority will have different methods for submitting these referrals – please check the advice provided by each local authority on how to submit referrals to other districts. 

The individual can request to be referred to any local authority of their choice. However, if they are homeless and do not have a local connection they may be referred back to the authority where they do have a local connection. 

Upon receipt of the referral the Housing Options Service will arrange to see the individual and will make reasonable enquiries into their eligibility (status in the UK) and their housing situation before a decision is made on the authority’s duty to provide housing assistance. 

If the individual is homeless at the point of referral they should also be directed to attend the Housing Options Service at 7 Wesley Street, Swinton, M27 6AD.

The duty to refer privacy notice is available to read on our data protection legislation page. 

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