Rough sleeping and the Duty to Refer

If you are sleeping rough, or if you know of someone who is facing homelessness, please notify the Council so that we are able to provide assistance. Referral Form for Public Authorities subject to the Duty to Refer service users they consider may be homeless or threatened with homelessness.

Rough Sleeping

Notifying the Council

Regrettably, some people find themselves in a situation where they do not have access to accommodation and as a result they sleep rough on the streets or somewhere outside, such as in a vehicle.

The Government and Runnymede Borough Council are committed to ending rough sleeping. If you do see a rough sleeper in Runnymede, please contact us so that we are able to offer them help and support. You can do this by:

I am sleeping rough

If you're sleeping rough, have you contacted our Housing Solutions team for advice?

If we can't provide you with emergency housing, there are hostel organisations who may be able to help. Search for accommodation and homelessness services on Homeless Link.

Hostels work on a priority basis from their own waiting list. It's important that you make contact with them as quickly as possible and request their application form. Make sure you provide a contact telephone number or arrange with someone who can pass on a message to you. Once the hostel has assessed your application, you may be invited to attend an interview to make sure they can meet your needs.

SWEP (Severe Weather Emergency Protocol)

When the weather conditions are classed as severe, for example extremely hot, cold or windy, we may be able to provide short term shelter. Please note that we may not have a duty to provide everyone with accommodation. If you are rough sleeping during periods of extreme weather, please contact the Housing Solutions Team on 01932 838383 to see if the Council has initiated SWEP.

Further help and support

Shelter - the housing and homelessness charity offers advice and support.

Duty to Refer

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 introduced a duty on specified public authorities to refer service users who they think may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to local authority housing teams. This duty is effective from 1 October 2018 and will apply to the following agencies;

  • 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

More information can be found about the Duty to Refer

Whilst there are specified public bodies with a statutory duty, we welcome any referrals from agencies. To make a referral please complete the Duty to refer form.