Make a homelessness referral (duty to refer)

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Under section 213B of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2018, specified public authorities are required to notify a housing authority of service users they consider may be homeless or threatened with homelessness (it is likely they will become homeless within 56 days).

Other agencies, such as Housing Associations who have signed up to a Commitment to Refer, can also refer service users they believe to be homeless or threatened with homelessness to us.
The public services included in the duty are:

  • Prisons
  • Youth offender institutions
  • Secure training centres
  • Secure colleges
  • Youth offending teams
  • Probation services (including community rehabilitation companies)
  • Jobcentre Plus
  • Social service authorities
  • Emergency departments
  • Urgent treatment centres
  • Hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care

Before making a referral, a public authority/other agency must:

  • Have consent to the referral from the individual
  • Allow the individual to identify the housing authority in England which they would like the notification to be made to and,
  • Have consent from the individual that their contact details can be supplied so the housing authority can contact them regarding the referral

How to make a referral

You can make a referral to the Council online, by clicking on the pink button below.

Make a referral button

This can also be used to access forms for Local Housing Authorities, to make Housing Act 1996 S198 referrals and S208 notifications to Ipswich Borough Council.

These forms are for use by Agencies working with service users who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. If you are an individual who is homeless or threatened with homelessness, please do not use the referral form, please contact the Homelessness Options Team directly on 01473 432000 or email:

Contact Details

Ipswich Borough Council,
Housing Options,
3E Grafton House, 
15-17 Russell Road,

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01473 432000

Office Hours

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07736 826025

Out of Hours