Housing advice

Housing advice

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Why we collect information about you?

We need the information to process your housing application, to ensure that you are eligible for social housing and that any accommodation you may be offered will be suitable for you or your family needs.

We also use it to deliver our housing services and to support you.

Information is  used to manage the  service we provide to you and to help investigate any worries or complaints you have about our services.

Where appropriate it may be used to  check the quality of our services and to help with research and planning of additional services.

What information do we collect about you?

We collect and hold your name, date of birth, telephone number, address, email address, gender, dependants, marital status, National Insurance number and certain personal sensitive information such as information about your physical and mental health and information relating to your financial circumstances and criminal history.

We also need and hold  names and dates of birth, photographic ID and information about other members of your household or intended household members.

We hold details on your previous housing circumstances and the previous housing circumstances of any joint applicants on your application.

We may hold some  contact details for a third party where you have provided them as a method of communication with you.

We record information about your needs and requirements to ensure our services are accessible so that we take account of any support needs in our dealings with you, and to improve our communications with you.

We record information to assist us in delivering our housing  services which can include reports of antisocial behaviour; complaints; or changes in circumstances.

Who do we share the information with?

We may share your information with:

  • Local authorities and government departments for exercising statutory, governmental, or other public functions.
  • Other statutory organisations, e.g. social services and health authorities, as necessary for exercising statutory functions.
  • Landlords, housing associations and trusts, in connection with potential  tenancy and associated enquiries.
  • Third party support agencies (with your consent) i.e. Citizens Advice, Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS), Shelter, food bank.
  • Contracted  service providers, in connection with services performed on our behalf. For example "Locata" the software developer of the Choice based Letting system who currently host the information.
  • Police and other relevant authorities (e.g. Probation Service, Department of Work & Pensions, HM Revenues & Customs) in relation to the prevention or detection of crime and fraud, the apprehension or prosecution of offenders and the assessment or collection of tax or duty.

In addition to the above, we may also share your personal information under the following circumstances below:

  • in order to find and stop crime and fraud
  • if there are serious risks to the public, our staff or to other professionals;
  • to protect a child or to protect adults who are thought to be at risk, for example if they are frail, confused or cannot understand what is happening.

Is any information transferred to or stored on servers based outside the European Economic Area?

Data is stored with Microsoft Azure (Cloud). Their data centres are currently maintained within the EEA as per industry guidelines.

How long do we keep your information?

Homeless application

Where a homeless duty has been accepted – all information will be retained for 3 years following the date of the discharge of the homeless duty. 

Where no duty has been accepted homeless applications are retained for 3 years from the decision date.

Housing Register

The housing register information is retained in accordance with the retention policy.

All live applications that have activity (i.e. bidding on properties) and which are renewed by the applicant each year,  remain active until such time as the applicant request closure or they become housed.

Where an applicant has been housed,  information supplied on the application is retained for 3 years.

Where an applicant is not eligible for housing  or they request that the application is closed, all information is removed after 6 months of the decision of  "not eligible" or the request being made.

Who do we collect information from?

Generally the information we hold will have been provided by you (on your application or enquiry forms or when we communicate with you, or at interview), but we may also hold information provided by third parties where this is relevant to your housing circumstances (e.g. from social workers and health professionals, doctors and occupational therapists, police or landlords).

We will only ask for personal information that is appropriate to enable us to deliver our services. In accordance with the Housing Act 1988, 1996, and 2004, the Homelessness Act 2002} and the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017. In some cases, you can refuse to provide your details if you deem a request to be inappropriate. However, you should note that this may impact on our ability to provide some services to you.

What are the consequences if we do not collect the data?

We may not be able to provide you with full housing options service or support you in your housing need.

Are any decision about you made by automatic means?

Yes, upon application the software provides everyone with an initial "Bronze" band but this is reviewed by a housing assistant at the point of the assessment of the application prior to being made live, pending or active.

Last updated: 13 February 2018 (FH)