Skip to main content

Duty to refer (for professionals)

Some public bodies have a duty to refer (DTR) people threatened with homelessness to their local authority of choice.

You need to have reason to believe they are homeless or threatened with becoming homeless within 56 days.

If you work for one of the named public services (see below) and wish to make a  DTR homelessness referral to Waverley, please read this guidance first.

You must:

  • have consent for the referral from the individual
  • allow the individual to identify the area that they would like the referral to be made to (this can only be within England)
  • have consent from the individual that their contact details can be shared with Waverley so that they we can contact them after the referral has been made.

Consider a local connection

Although clients are able to express where they would like the referral to be made, they are generally best made to the area where the individual has a local connection.

This is where someone:

  • has lived for six months out of the last 12
  • has lived for three years out of the last five years
  • is employed
  • has close family members (and they have lived there for the last five years).  This generally means parents, adult children or adult siblings.
  • has no safe local connection anywhere.

People leaving care

If a local connection is held with any individual district or borough in Surrey then they will have a local connection with all districts and boroughs in Surrey, including Waverley. 

In addition to this, a young person will have a local connection if s/he has been living in an area for a continuous period of two years or more, some or all of which must be before their 16th birthday (this does not apply after they have reached 21).

  • Prisons
  • Youth Offender Institutions
  • Secure training centres
  • Secure colleges
  • Youth Offending teams
  • Probation Services (including Community Rehabilitation Companies)
  • JobCentre Plus
  • Social Service Authorities
  • Emergency Departments
  • Urgent Treatment Centres
  • Hospital in the function of providing inpatient care
  • The Secretary of State for Defence in relation to members of the regular forces

A duty to refer referral does not constitute a homeless application.

However, our housing options team will contact the individual, arrange a housing options assessment and look at what advice and possible assistance we can give them to resolve their housing issues. 

Please make referrals online on the Duty to Refer portal:

Duty to Refer portal (Alert)