Duty to refer - homelessness referrals

Certain named public bodies have a duty to refer users of their service who they have reason to believe are homeless or threatened with becoming homeless within 56 days, to a local authority of the service users' choice.

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

Before making the referral

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).

Public services with a duty to refer

  • 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

Referral process

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. 

Make a duty to refer homelessness referral

Please make referrals online on the Duty to Refer portal:

Duty to Refer portal (Alert)

Page owner: Elizabeth Donaldson. Last updated: 01/10/2018 16:46

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