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Quick Reference Guide (QRG)

Duty to Refer from the City of Wolverhampton Council V1.0 - (April 2022)

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 City of Wolverhampton Council.  

This duty applies to a range of public bodies with effect from 1st 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 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.

Further information can be found here.

How to make a referral

Referrals can be made directly to Wolverhampton Homes by using the  DTR Referral Form or by sending an email to: DutytoRefer@wolverhampton.gov.uk 

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 (option 3) for further advice or email: DutytoRefer@wolverhampton.gov.uk.

If you are calling out of hours, please call 01902 552999. 

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

You will need

  • Details for the person or household being referred, including their preferred method of contact and 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.

What happens after the referral has been submitted?

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.