As part of the Homeless Reduction Act 2017 a new duty to refer has come into effect since 1st October 2018.
This Duty to Refer mean that public authorities will have a duty to refer people in England they consider may be homeless or threatened with becoming homeless within 56 days to local housing authorities.
The public authorities which are required to refer service users they consider may be homeless or at risk from 1st October 2018 are:
- Prison (public and private)
- Youth Offending Institutions
- Secure Training Centres
- Secure colleges
- Youth Offending Teams
- Probation Services (Community Rehabilitation Companies and national probation services)
- Jobcentre Plus
- Accident and Emergency services provided at a hospital
- Urgent treatment centres
- Hospitals in their capacity of providing in-patient treatment
- Social services authorities
The Secretary of State for Defence is also subject to the duty to refer in relation to members of the regular forces (Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Regular Army and Royal Air Force)
Sefton Council has prepared a guidance document that gives information about the new Duty to Refer and how public authorities can make a referral via the Housing JIGSAW ‘Alert’ system.
Details of how to sign up to the ‘Alert’ system are contained within the Homelessness Reduction Act Duty to Refer 7 Minute Briefing.
Below are seven easy-to read user-guides on how to use the ‘Alert’ system.