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Professionals only - Duty to Refer

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3. Professionals only - Local connection information for public services

If the service user is at risk of homelessness but is currently in accommodation, a prevention duty may be owed regardless of whether they have local connection to that area.

If the service user is already homeless or homeless that day, a relief duty is likely to be referred back to the local authority where the service user has a local connection.

Service users may only have one homeless application at a time.

Local connection is defined as:

  • lived in that area for six of the last twelve months
  • lived in that area for 3 out of the last 5 years
  • employment in that area on a permanent basis
  • strong family connections in the area and the family member of members have lived there for a minimum of 5 years

The family members who give a family connection are mother, father, brother, sister, adult child. In some special circumstances other family members or circumstances may be considered. 

There is not a local connection to an area if the service user is in prison or an institution in that area. Service users will be considered as having a local connection to the area they lived in before they went into the prison or institution.

If the service user is fleeing violence and at risk in that area, local connection requirements may be disregarded.

There are special rules for armed forces and care leavers