Commitment to Refer

Sign up to show your housing association’s commitment to halting homelessness

There is so much good work already happening in the housing association sector in preventing homelessness and supporting those who have become homeless to get their lives back on track. Unfortunately, housing associations aren’t always seen as being a key part of the solution so we are working to change that perception. The first part of this is a new initiative, the Commitment to Refer.

What is the Commitment to Refer?

Since 1 October 2018, as part of the Homelessness Reduction Act, public bodies have been bound by the Duty to Refer. This is an obligation to refer anyone to a local authority if they are homeless or threatened with homelessness.  

Housing associations are not part of this, but as so many members are keen to support the implementation of the Act, we have worked with the MHCLG to develop a housing association offer on the Duty to Refer. We have called this the Commitment to Refer.

This idea has been discussed with many housing associations already through chief executive forum meetings and our recent series of homelessness workshops. The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive. This is clearly an issue housing associations care about.

What you need to do next

We want every housing association to sign up to the Commitment to Refer. In many cases, your organisation will already be referring those at risk of homelessness, so this is about making a positive, public statement that shows housing associations are serious about halting homelessness.

We’ve put together guidance on the Commitment to Refer, but please get in touch if you have any other questions.

You can sign up to confirm your organisation’s commitment by emailing us. Please include your name, job title and organisation name.

The Commitment to Refer is just the first step and we will be building on this as our work on homelessness develops.