We sign up to the National Housing Federation’s Commitment to Refer
We have signed up to the NHF’s Commitment to Refer which helps people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness across the UK.
By signing up to the Commitment to Refer, we are promising that we will actively refer people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless to their local authority.
Since October 2018 as part of the Homelessness Reduction Act, public bodies are bound by a Duty to Refer, however housing associations are not part of this.
Many wanted to help support the Act voluntarily so the NHF worked with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to develop the Commitment to Refer.
Our Director of Care and Support Martyn Hale said: “We have signed up to this commitment because we are very serious about ending homelessness.
“We were initially involved in the drafting of the commitment and as we are part of the West Midlands Homelessness group, we felt we needed to be an early adopter.
“The commitment helps by ensuring that the relevant local authority is aware of the action we are taking and can provide the family/individual with specific advice.”
Commitment to Refer also gives local authorities more information about families who are at risk of homeless.
For example, if a person was evicted due to rent arrears, they may end up being homeless so the relevant local authority would be notified. The authority would also be told how many people are in the family and if there are any safeguarding responsibilities.
Martyn added: “Usually people are referred before possession action is taken, this gives the local authority more time to provide the family with specific advice.
“We are also working with other organisations including St Basils and Birmingham City Council to develop a toolkit which can be used by other housing associations and partners which will help embed the commitment across the sector.”
For more information about the Commitment to Refer, visit the NHF website here.