Housing associations are being urged to sign up to referral duties under the Homelessness Reduction Act.
The National Housing Federation, the trade body for housing associations, says “housing associations aren’t always seen as being a key part of the solution so we are working to change that perception”.
Calling it the “first step” for housing associations to tackle homelessness, the Fed say it “will be building on this as our work on homelessness develops.”
Currently, housing associations are not part of the Duty to Refer under the Act, which other public bodies are.
Outlining the reasons for the Commitment to Refer, the Fed has said: “Housing associations are not part of this (Duty to Refer), 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 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.”
The Federation have put forward a Q&A as well as urging housing associations to get in touch if they have any questions.
The Commitment to Refer follows on from the Homes for Cathy group calling on housing associations to sign up to nine commitments to end homelessness.