Duty to refer
If you are a professional with a duty to refer, you can complete a duty to refer form. The form will go to the Homeless Services team who will contact the customer directly.
What is the Homelessness Reduction Act - duty to refer?
The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 introduced a new duty on specific public bodies in England to refer consenting people, who they believe to be homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days, to the local authority the City of Wolverhampton Council. Wolverhampton Homes delivers the statutory duty on behalf of the council.
This duty applies to a range of public bodies and came into effect on 1 October 2018:
- Social Services authorities - adult’s and children’s social care
- NHS Services - A&E services and urgent treatment centres (walk-in centre)
- NHS Services – hospitals (when providing in-patient care)
- Job Centre Plus
- Prisons (public and private)
- Probation Services - including community rehabilitation companies
- Youth Offender Institutions
- Youth Offending teams
- Secure Colleges and Training Centres
- The Secretary of State for Defence - in relation to members of the Royal Navy, Royal Marine, Army (regular) and Royal Air Force
It is their statutory duty to refer consenting people to Homeless Services so that we can prevent and relieve homelessness effectively.
How to make a referral
Referrals can be made directly to Wolverhampton Homes using the form linked below or by email.
Please note making a referral does not trigger an emergency response from Wolverhampton Homes. If you are referring someone who is already homeless or require an emergency response, please ring 01902 556789.
Before you start your referral
A referral does not replace a homelessness application. The referred person(s) will still need to make an application if they wish to seek our help. However, following a referral, the Homeless Services team will contact the person to begin enquiries and decide if an application should be taken.
Before making a referral, the referring public body must:
- Have consent for the referral from the person(s) being referred
- Allow the individual to identify the housing authority in England to which they would like to be referred
- Have consent that the service user’s contact details can be given so the housing authority can contact them regarding the referral
What details do I need?
You will need:
- Details for the person or household being referred
- Their preferred method of contact
- Where possible details about their current housing situation and/or support needs
- Confirmation that you have consent for the referral from the person(s) being referred
After the referral has been made
The Homeless Services team will contact the person(s) being referred, to find out what information, advice and support can be provided and where required a formal homelessness application will be taken.
The person being referred will be allocated a case worker who will carry out a housing assessment and develop a personal housing plan with the person. The aim is to help them secure suitable accommodation for at least six months.
Wolverhampton Homes will inform the referring agency of the outcome
Support for professionals
Wolverhampton Homes provides the homeless statutory duty on behalf of the City of Wolverhampton Council. The service we provide and the decisions we make are based on legislation. An overview of this legislation can be found on the government website.
What we do
We provide housing and homeless advice to all customers.
If we owe a duty to a customer, as outlined in the legislation, we will take a homeless application and create a personalised housing plan with them.
The customer will have a caseworker who will work with them and other professionals to prevent or relieve their homelessness.
Working with someone who hasn’t accessed our service?
If you are working with someone who may be homeless or threatened with homelessness, then you can refer them to us using the duty to refer form. You can also advise the customer to ring us directly.
It is always better to seek homeless advice earlier as this creates more housing options, and we may be able to prevent someone from becoming homeless.
Working with someone who has accessed our service?
If you are working with someone who has accessed our service then you can speak to their caseworker about any questions or concerns you may have.
We are committed to working with customers and other professionals to find the best solutions to prevent and relieve homelessness.