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Homelessness - Duty to Refer

Under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, public authorities have a statutory duty to refer people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. For example, people who are likely to become homeless within 56 days. 

It is important that agencies make these types of referrals to us so that we can prevent and relieve homelessness effectively. See the  Lincolnshire Duty to Refer Protocol (PDF) [3MB] (opens new window) .

Homelessness referral overview

The statutory duty came into effect on the 1 October 2018. A referral doesn't replace a homelessness application. The referred person(s) may still need to complete a homelessness application form if they want to seek our help. Following a referral, we will contact the person(s) to begin enquiries.

Before making a referral, a public authority must:

  • have consent to the referral from the person(s) being referred
  • allow the individual to identify the housing authority in England which they would like to be referred
  • have consent that the service user's contact details can be given so the housing authority can contact them regarding the referral

You will need:

  • details for the service user, including their preferred method of contact
  • to confirm that you have consent to the referral from the person(s) being referred.

To make a referral please complete the Duty to Refer form (Word doc) [18KB] (opens new window)  and email the completed form to