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Duty of Public Authorities to Refer

In England many public authorities now have a duty to notify a local housing authority when they become aware that one of their clients or customers may be homeless or threatened with homelessness.

The following public authorities have a duty to notify a housing authority if they consider one of their clients to currently be homeless or threatened with homelessness within the next 56 days:

  • Prisons
  • Youth offender institutions
  • Secure training centres
  • Secure colleges
  • Youth offending teams
  • Probation services (including community rehabilitation companies)
  • Job Centre Plus
  • Social Services
  • Emergency departments
  • Urgent treatment centres
  • Hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care.

Make an online housing referral now

If you, as an official representative of any of the above listed public bodies, encounter a client whom you consider to currently be homeless or threatened with homelessness within the next 56 days, you can make the required referral to a housing authority online here.

  • You must have the client's consent to refer them to a housing authority.
  • You can refer your client to any housing authority in the country and also to multiple housing authorities at the same time.

 Use ALERT to make an online housing referral now... (opens new window).

Housing Partners - Housing Jigsaw Alert Logo
Alert is a dedicated tool for all local authorities in the UK to use to manage incoming referrals from other agencies. It supports partnership working by providing a secure and easy to use platform for making referrals including the new S213B duty placed on specific public bodies.

Information for referrers

Which local housing authority is appropriate?

The client may choose which local housing authority they wish to be referred to. However, it is sensible to guide the client towards the local authority who are best equipped to resolve the situation. This will usually mean the local authority in an area where the client has a strong connection. The exception would be if there is a threat of violence in that district.

What happens next

All referrals to Basildon Council will be reviewed and contact made with the client within 5 working days.

If Basildon Council is satisfied that the client is eligible for help and are either threatened with homelessness within 56 days or homeless now, a homeless application will be triggered. If not the local authority will provide as much advice and assistance as they can.

Further information