Duty to refer homeless people to a local authority

From 1 October 2018, certain organisations will have a duty to refer anybody who they believe might be homeless or threatened with homelessness to a local housing authority. The law that created this duty is the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, Section 10.

We ask that any organisation concerned for an individual make a referral, although the organisations responsible for making these referrals are:

  • Prisons and youth offender institutions
  • Secure training centres and colleges
  • Youth offending teams and probation services
  • Jobcentre Plus
  • Accident and emergency services provided in a hospital
  • Urgent treatment centres (such as walk-in centres)
  • In-patient hospitals
  • Social service authorities
  • Ministry of Defence (for members of the regular armed forces)

Clients must give their permission to be referred, and it's their choice which local authority they are referred to.


What to ask

If you work for an organisation and believe a client could lose their home (or has already done so), you should ask:

  • Have you already been referred to a local housing authority for assistance? If yes, you do not need to refer again but - with consent - may want to make contact with the Housing Options Team for more information.
  • Do you give consent for me to refer you to a local housing authority for help with resolving your housing situation? You'll need to share basic information about the applicant with the housing authority.
  • Which local housing authority would you like me to refer you to? Choose an appropriate local housing authority. The client can choose which local housing authority they wish to be referred to. This can be in the area they live in or last had a settled home, although this will not always be preferable, for example where there is a threat of violence in that district.

If the client is threatened with being made homeless within the next 56 days, we'll try to help prevent homelessness. That may be by remaining at home or exploring alternatives such as supported, private and social rented accommodation.

If the client is already homeless, we'll investigate whether they have a local connection with Uttlesford. If they do not, we'll refer them to the council area where they do have one, unless they don't have one, or it would be unsafe.


Refer a client to Uttlesford District Council

If you have consent to refer a client to us, and think it is appropriate to do so, use the following link:

Uttlesford Housing Assistance Referral Portal

We also accept referrals via Uttlesford Frontline

And by emailing the Partner Referral form to dutytorefer@uttlesford.gov.uk

Download a Partner Referral Form

We recommend that you contact the Housing Options Team with additional information where possible. If you believe your client has nowhere to sleep tonight, use the referral portal and also suggest that they speak to our housing advice service immediately.


What will happen next?

We'll review all referrals and contact the client within 5 working days.


If we are satisfied that they are eligible for help and either homeless or threatened with it within 56 days, we'll create a homeless application for them. Otherwise, they will be provided with some housing advice.


Additional information

►  Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-2025 (PDF) [580KB]