Public authorities must notify a local housing authority of applicants they think may be homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless.

The public authorities include:

  • 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
  • The Secretary of State for Defence, in relation to members of the regular forces.

In Greater Manchester, other agencies have also signed up to Voluntary Duty to Refer including:

  • Local housing providers
  • Greater Manchester Police

Required information

Applicants must consent to the referral being made; we will ask you to confirm this has been received.

The minimum information referrals to a local authority must include:

  • The applicant's name
  • Applicants contact details
  • The reason for the referral e.g. what has made them homeless.

It would also be helpful to know what the applicant’s household composition is, e.g. if they have children, and when they are likely to become homeless.

You can also provide other information that you think might be useful, such as details of the applicant’s health needs.

Does the applicant have to be referred to Oldham?

The applicant can request to be referred to any Local Authority of their choice.

However, if they do not have a local connection they may be referred back to an authority where they do, where it is safe to do so.

Authorities across Greater Manchester have adopted a common approach but different authorities will have different referral mechanisms; the information below only applies to Oldham Council.

Make a referral

The Housing Options service will contact the applicant within 48 hours to offer them advice and, if required, an appointment to come and see a Housing Advisor.

If the applicant consents, the Housing Advisor can keep you updated on the outcome of the referral and what is being done to help the applicant.


Housing Options Team

Outside of office hours (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm), you can call 0800 988 7061.