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Homeless - Duty to Refer

Somerset Public Authority Referrals 

This page is for Public Authorities wishing to make statutory referrals as required under the Homelessness Reduction Act.  

Under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 public authorities have a statutory duty to refer customer to us they believe to be homeless or at risk of homelessness (for example, it is likely they will become homeless within 56 days). The statutory duty came into effect from October 2018.

It is important that agencies refer homeless customers to us so that we can prevent and relieve homelessness effectively.

Public Authorities with Duty to Refer

The following public authorities have a duty to refer customers if they are homeless or at risk of homelessness

  • Youth offender teams and institutions

  • Secure training centres and colleges

  • Probation services including rehabilitation companies

  • Job centre plus

  • Social services authorities

  • Accident and emergency services provided in hospital

  • Urgent treatment centres

  • Hospitals when providing in-patient care

  • 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, the regular army and the Royal Air Force).

If your agency is not listed, you may still refer customers providing your customer agrees to be referred.

Make a Homelessness Referral for People who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless

To make a homelessness referral public authorities please click on the email address below for the relevant local authority. This will open an email with the information that needs to be provided. The information provided on the form will be processed and stored for the purpose of the homelessness referral and in line with the Homefinder Somerset Privacy Policy (please click this link to view the Privacy Policy).

Mendip District Council –

Sedgemoor District Council -

South Somerset District Council -

Referrals to Somerset West & Taunton Council should be made via the link on their 'Homelessness duty to refer' webpage

Before you start

A referral does not in its self, trigger a homelessness application. The referred person(s) will still need to be assessed in line with current homeless legislation.

Before making a referral, a public authority must:

  • Have consent to make the referral from the person(s) being referred

  • Allow the individual to identify the local housing authority in England to which they would like to be referred

  • Have consent that the customer’s contact details can be given so that the local housing authority can contact them regarding the referral


You will need:

  • Details of the customer including their name, date of birth, address (if they have one), including their preferred method of contact

  • The reason for referral

  • To confirm that you have consent to the referral from the person(s) being referred


                                                                                    Flow Chart

This image shows a flow chart to help in deciding whether to make a homelessness referral