Homelessness - Duty to refer

The new duty, in accordance with Section 213B of the Homeless Reduction Act 2017, requires all public authorities to notify the local housing authority (Bassetlaw District Council) of a service user if they consider that person may be homeless or become threatened with homelessness within 56 days.  However before making a referral, the public authority must:

  • Have consent to do so from the individual concerned (if consent not given, the referral cannot be made)
  • Allow the individual to choose which housing authority in England they wish to be referred to
  • Have consent from the individual to share their contact details with the housing authority in order that they can be contacted once the referral has been received  

The public authorities subject to the new duty are specified in The Homelessness (Review Procedure) Regulations 2018 and are listed below:

  • Prisons
  • Youth Offender Institutions
  • Secure Training Centres
  • Secure Colleges
  • Youth Offending Teams
  • Probation Services (including community rehabilitation companies)
  • Jobcentre Plus
  • Social Services authorities (Nottinghamshire County Council)
  • Emergency departments, urgent treatment centres and hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care
  • Secretary of State in relation to members of the regular armed forces ie Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Air Force and Army

The Council’s preferred method of receiving referrals from public authorities in respect of the new Duty to Refer is via Housing Jigsaw ALERT.  This method is being used by the majority of the 7 Nottinghamshire District Councils.  In order to make a referral, you will first need to complete a simple registration process using the link provided below, once registered retain your username and password as this will be required when making referrals.  All referrals made will be sent to the Housing Options Team email address at housing.needs@bassetlaw.gov.uk which will be checked on a daily basis.

Find out more at: live.housingjigsaw.co.uk/alert/duty-to-refer.  

A referral made by a public authority is not a homeless application.  Following receipt of the referral, the housing authority will still need to make contact with the person concerned, carry out enquiries to establish the facts and satisfy itself that the person (s) is homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days.  If the facts give the housing authority “reason to believe” the individual might be homeless or threatened with homelessness, a homeless application will be opened at that point (providing the person wishes to receive assistance).

Whilst only public authorities are subject to this duty, this does not prevent other organisations or individuals from making representations or referrals on a person’s behalf as usual.  You can contact the Housing Needs Team in a number of ways including email: housing.needs@bassetlaw.gov.uk, telephone: 01909 533533 or fill in our Make a Homeless Enquiry form.



Last Updated on Wednesday, December 20, 2023