Partner agencies - duty to refer

We have a duty to prevent and relieve homelessness. Under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 some Public Agencies have a duty to refer households they believe are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Public Agencies include:

  • Prisons and young offender institutions
  • Youth offending teams and probation services (including Community Rehabilitation Companies)
  • Jobcentres in England
  • Social service authorities
  • Emergency departments and hospital inpatient care
  • The Secretary of State for defence

However, we encourage all partner agencies to let us know as soon as possible if you believe a household needs our help.

If you work for a partner agency you can register and then refer to our Housing Options Team.

Register and refer using Jigsaw ALERT

You must have your client's permission to make a referral. We will attempt to make contact with the named person within 10 working days to verify the situation. We will then inform you whether or not we were able to make contact.

The government has also produced guidance on the duty to refer.

There is a procedure and a summary document for any organisation requiring more information about making referrals to one of the five Oxfordshire housing authorities.

If you have any problems using the referral portal please phone our Housing Options Team on 01295 753751 or email us on