Duty to refer: Homelessness Reduction Act 2017

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5 February 2020
Source: Vision UK

Vision UK is currently working with partners to pilot pathways related to homelessness and sight loss in London and Birmingham. As part of this work, we have been made aware of a new duty to refer as part of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017. This new duty will be applicable to a number of professions represented at the Vision UK Early Intervention and Enablement Committee. Full details regarding the new duty can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/homelessness-duty-to-refer/a-guide-to-the-duty-to-refer.

The new duty requires specified public authorities to identify and refer a service user who is homeless or may be threatened with homelessness to a local housing authority of the service user’s choice. The duty to refer only applies to specified public authorities in England and individuals can only be referred to a local housing authority in England. The specified public authorities include (but are not limited to):

  • social service authorities (both adult and children’s)
  • emergency departments
  • urgent treatment centres
  • hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care

We encourage you to share this information with relevant professionals in your organisations and networks.

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