Duty, Commitment and Pledge to refer

From 1 October 2018, under Section 213B of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2018, some public authorities are required to notify a housing authority (in our case the Housing Needs Service of Wakefield Council) of anyone they consider may be homeless or threatened with homelessness within the next 56 days.

The public authorities with a duty to make this referral are:

  • Prisons
  • Youth offending institutions
  • Secure training centre
  • Secure colleges
  • Youth offending teams
  • Probation Services
  • Jobcentre Plus
  • Social services authorities
  • Emergency departments
  • Urgent treatment centres
  • Hospitals in their function of providing hospital inpatient care

If you work for one of the above authorities and need to make a referral you must do so with:

The consent of the person being referred, who has:

  • advised they would like to be referred in the Wakefield district, and
  • consented to their contact details to be given in order that the Housing Needs Service can communicate with them regarding their housing situation

When referring to the Housing Needs Service we will need:

  • Your name and the public body you represent and your contact details
  • The name of the person being referred and their contact details, date of birth, National Insurance number and NHS number
  • The reason for the referral, for example: this person is homeless or at risk of being homeless within the next 56 days
  • Confirmation that you have the permission of the person you are referring

More details about the Duty to Refer on gov.uk

Whilst these public bodied are key partners it is widely recognized that there are many other partner organizations that have contact with those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.  

Many Housing Associations have also demonstrated their commitment to supporting homelessness by signing up to the National Housing Federation’s Commitment to Refer, which mirrors the Duty to Refer as described above.  Pledge to Refer is a further extension to this referral process allowing all key partners to refer.

Referrals can now be made direct to Wakefield Council, using a system known as Alert. 

This system allows the referrer to securely send all the referral information through to the council electronically with functionality of being able to see who you referred, and the date and status of that referral.

Should you need to make a referral by downloading, printing and emailing a referral you are still able to do so using the form here. Please note this will not offer the functionality of the Alert system and will only be available for a limited period.

Contact details for Wakefield Housing Needs Service

Queens House
Queens Row
Market Street

Queens House
Queens Street


Phone: 01924 304362 / 304360

Service availability:

Monday - Wednesday

8:30am - 5pm


10am - 5pm


8:30am - 4:30pm


If you are dealing with someone who is homeless and our offices are closed you can contact 0345 8 506 506 for advice. This is an emergency contact service only and should only be used if there are no other temporary solutions available until our offices are open.