This information and form on this page is intended for professionals and agencies only. If you're a resident and need help with housing issues please visit our housingplus page

Making referrals

From 1st October 2018, Public Services (as defined by the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017) will have a duty to make referrals to statutory homelessness services where they have client who is homeless or at risk of homelessness. In Warrington this will be the Council’s Housing Options Service known as Housing Plus.

Other agencies not included in the required list below may wish to refer cases to us and will be able to use this Referral route.

Public Services will include the following:

  • 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

How to Refer 

All Public Services will be provided with information about how to refer cases to Housing Plus by sending a referral email.

The Referral email needs to contain brief information about the client being referred.

  1. Agency Name
  2. Name of Referrer
  3. Name of client you are referring
  4. Contact Details of Client
  5. Reason for Referral eg.
    • Rough sleeping, No settled home (sofa surfing), Asked to leave accommodation by family or friends, Eviction or Notice to Quit , About to leave prison, armed services or LA care, In hospital unable to leave because no suitable accommodation, At risk of violence, abuse or exploitation where they live now
  6. Confirmation that permission has been given by the client for the referral

The above items are mandatory.  If you have any other information you wish to provide us, then they must be careful about Data Protection and use secure email addresses.

All public bodies must obtain permission from their client before making a referral and confirm this to us on the referral email. Permission can be verbally or in writing and we do not need to see this permission. We do need to have the confirmation that permission has been provided on the Referral email for us to take action.

Initial response by housing plus

Once a referral is received a member of the Customer Services Team will enter details on the Locata Database and make initial contact with the client referred, within three working days.

  • Introduce our service to them following the referral
  • Ask if they would like to see a Housing Advisor by face to face interview, telephone or email. We will arrange visits if the person is not able to attend our offices because they are confined at home, in hospital or in prison and a telephone interview is not appropriate or cannot be arranged.
  • If the client does not want to engage with our service at initial contact, we will explain what our service can do to help and provide contact details of our service should they change their mind in the future.
  • If the client wants to take the referral further then the case will be assigned to a Housing Options Officer.

Assignment to a housing plus officer

  • If the client attends our Drop-In Service then the Duty Officer on the day the client presents will take up the case.
  • If the client wants a telephone appointment then the Telephone Duty Officer will pick up the case on the day that the client wants a telephone appointment.
  • If the client requires a visit then the case will be referred to the Deputy Manager for assignment.
  • In all other cases the Deputy Manager should be consulted as to assignment of a case to a Housing Options Officer.

Once assigned to a Housing Options Officer the case should progress in the usual way. If additional information is required from the Referring Agent then further enquiries should be made in the usual way, observing Data Protection requirements.