The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 set out that specified public bodies must refer people to the Local Authority who they believe to be homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days. These organisations include:
- Prisons (public and contracted out)
- Youth offender institutions and youth offending teams
- Secure training centres (public and contracted out) and colleges
- Probation services (community rehabilitation companies and national probation service)
- Jobcentre plus
- Accident and emergency services provided in a hospital
- Urgent treatment centres, and hospitals in their capacity of providing in-patient treatment
- Social service authorities.
The Ministry of Defence is also subject to the duty to refer in relation to members of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the regular army and the Royal Air Force.
At Wychavon District Council, we use ALERT which is a tool for specified public bodies and wider partner agencies to make referrals or notify us about people they believe to be homeless
Agencies can make their referral in five easy steps:
- Sign up to ALERT
- Enter details of the agency
- Provide details of the household being referred
- Complete a consent to share declaration
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.
We invite specified public bodies and wider partner agencies to make referrals to the Local Authority as soon as possible. Wychavon District Council prioritises early intervention and prevention and will look to support customers to remain in existing accommodation or source alternative accommodation options.
Homeless Prevention Plan
As part of the Homelessness Partnerships, meetings are held with organisations who help people at risk of or are homeless.
Organisations involved include:
- Citizens Advice
- Adult Social Care
- Probation and CRC
- Children's First (Worcestershire)
- Caring Hands in the Vale
- West Mercia Police
- Platform Housing Group
- Rooftop Housing Group
- St Pauls Hostel
- St Richards Hospice
- Public Health
- Maggs Day Centre
- MOATS support
- Basement Project
- Job Centre
- John Martins Charity
As part of the work this group has completed, a Homeless Prevention Plan has been developed to try and help homeless people in our area.
We will work together as a team to complete the actions within this plan, to help stop people becoming homeless in the future.