Professionals only – Referring your client

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3. Professionals only - Local connection information for public services

If the service user is already homeless or will become homeless that day, a relief duty is likely to be owed by any local authority approached by the individual. Subject to consideration of the facts of each case, a referral might be made to a local authority where the service user has a local connection.

Local connection is usually 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
  • strong family connections to the area and a family member or members have lived there for a minimum of 5 years

The family members who usually give a local connection are mother, father, brother, sister, or adult children; however other family members should be taken into account in some situations and other special circumstances may also be taken into account.

Staying in an area due to being in prison, approved premises or hospital will not count towards local connection. However time spent in temporary accommodation provided by a local authority housing team does count. Special arrangements apply to anyone who is categorised as a 'care leaver' and our housing team can advise on these.

A local housing authority cannot refer anyone back to an area where they are at risk of violence and local connections to areas where this applies will be disregarded.