Ryedale District Council


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Refer homeless cases

The Homelessness Reduction Act came into force in England in April 2018. The legislation states that, from October 2018, specified public authorities are required to notify the local authority of service users they consider may be currently homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days.

Before making a referral, a public body must have the consent of the individual to make the referral and consent to share their contact details with that authority. The individual should be asked to identify the housing authority in England to which they wish to be referred.

The duty to refer only applies to public authorities in England and individuals can only be referred to housing authorities in England. We are happy to take referrals from any other agency not included in the following list;

The public services included in the duty to refer are as follows:

  • Prisons
  • Youth offender institutions
  • Secure training centres
  • Secure colleges
  • Youth offending teams
  • Probation services (including rehabilitation companies)
  • Jobcentre Plus
  • Social Service authorities
  • Emergency departments
  • Urgent treatment centres
  • Hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care

The government has released a guide to the duty to refer, primarily designed for professionals and it is available on GOV.UK.

Agencies can make their referral in five easy steps:

  1. Sign up to ALERT 
  2. Enter details of the agency
  3. Provide details of the household being referred
  4. Complete a consent to share declaration
  5. Submit

Once submitted, the referring agency will receive confirmation that the referral has been sent, along with a unique referral code. Where appropriate a copy of the referral can also be sent to the person threatened with homelessness or already homeless for their reference. Once a referral has been made, a user account for the referee is automatically created. This makes it simple and easier to make future referrals and enables the user to track their referral online and receive update notifications. This service is completely free of charge.

Alert privacy statement (PDF, 3 pages, 493kb)

If you are unable to use the Alert system, please complete our secure online Duty to Refer - referral form.

If you have any queries, please email Duty to Refer.


Duty to Refer referral form (Word, 2 pages, 63kb)


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Ryedale District Council
Ryedale House
Old Malton Road
Malton, North Yorkshire
YO17 7HH

Email: Contact the Council

Phone: 01653 600666

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