Following the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 in April 2018, October saw the next phase in the government legislation 'duty to refer'. The legislation places responsibility on specified public bodies, to refer individuals to the local authority, where that person is believed to be at risk of homelessness.

Who are identified as 'specified public bodies'

The following are public authorities with a duty to refer:

  • prisons (public and contracted out)
  • youth offender institutions and youth offending teams
  • secure training centres (public and contracted out) and colleges
  • probation services (community rehabilitation companies and national probation service)
  • jobcentre plus
  • accident and emergency services provided in a hospital
  • urgent treatment centres, and hospitals in their capacity of providing in-patient treatment
  • social service authorities.

The Ministry of Defence is also subject to the duty to refer in relation to members of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the regular army and the Royal Air Force.

How are referrals made

If you have a person that you would like to refer to us, please use the referral form ensuring you have completed section 1-4 and send it to dutytorefer@harrogate.gov.uk. Alternatively you can follow live.housingjigsaw.co.uk/alert/duty-to-refer which will allow you to register through Jigsaw Alerts our Housing Options IT system. Please view the instructions on how to sign up.

A guide to duty to refer for public bodies can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/homelessness-duty-to-refer/a-guide-to-the-duty-to-refer.

Frequently asked questions

Page last updated 13/02/2019