The Duty to Refer requires public authorities in England such as social services, hospitals and prisons, to notify local housing authorities of any people using their services that they know to be homeless or think might be at risk of becoming homeless.
Making a referral
Please use the Duty To Refer referral form to notify us of any clients you think may be homeless or at risk of homelessness as soon as you are aware of their housing difficulties.
Please contact us as soon as possible, you do not need to wait until your client is ready for your service involvement to end before you contact us.
Please email the form to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following in the email subject line: DUTY TO REFER - Referral for [client’s name]. Alternatively, you can post the form to:
Duty to Refer – Housing and Homelessness Assessment Team
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
London W8 7NR
One of our housing advice officers will contact your client within two working days of the referral being received. We will use the preferred method of contact, as indicated on the form.
Please make sure that you have discussed the referral with your client and they know you have passed on their details. You should emphasise that referral is no guarantee that this contact will lead to accommodation being provided by us or any other local authority.
The referral form indicates the minimum level of information that you have to supply in order to comply with the legislation. Please complete as much of the rest of the form as possible. The more information we have at referral stage, the better.
Understanding our role
The housing advice officer will ask your client questions about their current accommodation and the issues they are facing. They will also ask questions about their nationality, employment and immigration status to determine if they are eligible for assistance.
If your client is at risk of losing their home, the housing advice officer will look at ways to help them stay in their accommodation, if this is appropriate. If your client’s current accommodation is unsuitable or they are already homeless, the housing advice officer will give them advice and assistance to find alternative accommodation, most likely in the private rented sector.
Clients can be referred to any local authority they wish but in reality they will be better served if they are referred to a local authority that they have a connection to. Normally a connection is created by their current or former residence in the locality, current employment in the area, or close family having lived in the area for a long time.