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The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, enacted on 3 April 2018, is the most significant piece of homelessness legislation for over 40 years. The act places new legal duties on English councils to provide free advice and assistance to all eligible households that are homeless, or at risk of homelessness regardless of priority need.

If you are homeless or feel you are threatened with homelessness, rough sleeping, fleeing domestic abuse or going through a relationship breakdown please contact the Homefinder Service so we can carry out an assessment of your needs:

  • 0300 1236633 (Monday-Friday 8.30am - 6.30pm)
  • 0191 4562093 (out of office hours)
  • 07812663057 (homeless response service provided by Changing Lives)

South Tyneside Homes: Homelessness

Rough sleeping

If you see a rough sleeper in the first instance please report this to our Homefinder service, on the number above or alternatively contact StreetLink:


Duty to Refer 

Important information for all Public Authorities in England: New Legal Duties from 1 October 2018.

The duty to refer is a duty on specified public authorities to refer service users who they think may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to Local Authority homelessness/ housing options teams.

Duty to refer comes into force on 1 October 2018 and is the final part of the Homelessness Reduction Act.

The public bodies with duty to refer are: prisons, young offending institutions, secure training centres, secure colleges, youth offending teams, probation services (including community rehabilitation companies), job centres in England, social service authorities (both adult and children's), emergency departments, urgent treatment centres, hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care, secretary of state for defence in relation to members of the regular armed forces.

If you are one of these public bodies looking to make a referral. Please complete a referral online at North East Duty to Refer, or complete the duty to refer referral form575.33KB and email to, or contact the housing solutions team on 0300 123 6633.

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