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Privacy notice

Homelessness Service

Who we are and what we do

The Council is a data controller under

the Data Protection Legislation as we collect and process personal information about you in order to provide Housing and Homelessness Services and meet our statutory and regulatory obligations.

This notice explains why we ask for your personal information, how that information will be used and how you can access your records. 

The privacy notice will continue to be monitored and updated. You are advised to check this page from time to time.

Why we need your information and how we use it

The Council has to collect personal information from individuals to enable us to fulfil our statutory obligations in terms of

  • Providing Housing and Homelessness Services to the residents, landlords and tenants of the Borough
  • Identifying housing needs and managing the Housing Register
  • Determining whether the Council has a Homelessness Duty and providing emergency accommodation
  • Sharing Information across local authorities to optimise and improve the delivery and commissioning of rough sleeping and single homelessness service providers
  • Detecting and preventing fraud and crime
  • Inform targeted support and homelessness services to adults, young people and families who are most in need and at risk of harm or abuse
  • Monitor, evaluate and review the quality of our services

The processing of your information is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation primarily under the Housing Act 1996, and 2004, the Homelessness Act 2002, the Localism Act 2011 and the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 to which we are subject. 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 type of information is collected from you

In order to administer our services, we collect the following information from you:

  • names, dates of birth, photographic ID, telephone numbers, email addresses
  • you and your family’s legal status
  • proof of identity and national identifiers
  • who else lives with you along with their details (e.g. partner, children and other adults).
  • details about your lifestyle, social and personal circumstances (including your household details)
  • characteristics such as ethnicity and sexuality
  • information about your previous housing circumstances to assess housing applications
  • details about your employment status
  • your financial records (e.g.allowances and benefits, savings and investments, income and capital)
  • your contact details so we can communicate with you, and keep you informed about other services we offer which may be useful to you
  • tenancy or contract information (if you are a leaseholder)
  • details of your landlord and the amount of rent paid and any other information required to process an application under our service
  • health information to take into account any reasonable requirements to ensure our services are accessible and appropriately targeted
  • any reports of anti-social behaviour; complaints; change in circumstances
  • safeguarding information such as Court Orders and professional involvement

We will only ask for personal information that is appropriate to enable us to deliver our services. 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.

Who your information may be shared with (internally and externally)

Your information may be shared with:

  • Other services at our Partner Authorities, such as Housing Benefit, for the express purpose of processing your application   
  • Other organisations in accordance with prevailing Data Protection Legislation
  • Across local authorities to improve the delivery and commissioning of rough sleeping and single homelessness service providers
  • Government departments
  • Registered social landlords
  • Private sector landlords
  • support agencies
  • other Local Authorities
  • other Council Services
  • Police and fraud prevention agencies
  • Staff in each area will only access the personal information that is essential to carry out their work and statutory functions but may share data between the respective teams where this is necessary to provide you with services

Finding a permanent home for you and supporting your social care needs often involves multi-agency support. There are many other agencies with whom we routinely share your data in order to support you. The main ones we usually share your data with for those purposes are the NHS and Registered Social Landlords. The NHS may include your G.P, any specialist whose care you are under, hospital staff, district nurses, and allied professions involved in your care and support.  Registered Social Landlords are the persons or groups, such as housing associations, who hold housing stock that might be made available to you. We will need to send your details to them so they can see if they have housing available that would be suitable to meet your needs. We also routinely share information with any other providers of care and support to you, either your own private carers those being paid to provide services to you and voluntary agencies offering support.

How long we keep your information (retention period)

Data is only held as long as is necessary, unless superseded by statutory regulation, and disposed of securely when it is no longer needed.

How we protect your Information

We will not transfer your personal data outside the EU without your consent.

We have implemented generally accepted standards of technology and operational security in order to protect personal data from loss, misuse, or unauthorised alteration or destruction.  

Please note however that where you are transmitting information to us over the internet this can never be guaranteed to be 100% secure.  

For any payments which we take from you online we will use a recognised online secure payment system.

We will notify you promptly in the event of any breach of your personal data which might expose you to serious risk.

Your rights: You have rights under the Data Protection Legislations:

  • to access your personal data
  • to be provided with information about how your personal data is processed
  • to have your personal data corrected
  • to have your personal data erased in certain circumstances
  • to object to or restrict how your personal data is processed
  • to have your personal data transferred to yourself or to another business in certain circumstances
  • you have the right to be told if we have made a mistake whilst processing your data and we will self-report breaches to the Commissioner.

How you can access, update or correct your information

The Data Protection Legislation allows you to find out what information is held about you, on paper and computer records. This is known as ‘right of subject access’ and applies to your Housing and Homelessness Services data along with all other personal records. 

If you wish to see a copy of your records, you should contact the Data Protection Officer. You are entitled to receive a copy of our records free of charge, within a month.

In certain circumstances access to your records may be limited, for example, if the records you have asked for contain information relating to another person.

Your data protection rights

The rights available to you depend on our reason for processing your information. For further information about your data protection rights and how to make a request, please see ‘Your rights

Your right to make a complaint

The Council tries to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information. For this reason, we take any complaints we receive about this very seriously. We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate.

If you want to make a complaint you can contact us on:

Complaints Team

London Borough of Hounslow
Hounslow House
7 Bath Road
Hounslow
TW3 3EB

For further information on the complaints process please go to:

How to make a complaint

Data Protection Officer

The Council’s Data Protection Officer can be contacted on:

InformationGovernance@hounslow.gov.uk

Information Governance Team
London Borough of Hounslow
Hounslow House
7 Bath Road
Hounslow
TW3 3EB

Information Commissioner’s Office

The Information Commissioner is the UK's independent body set up to uphold information rights.

If you would like to know more about your rights under the Data Protection law, and what you should expect, visit the Information Commissioner’s website: https://ico.org.uk/

If you have any concerns regarding any privacy practices or about exercising your Data Protection rights, you may contact the Information Commissioner’s Office:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe Housse
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545 745

Email: casework@ico.org.uk

A full list of what information we control and process and for what purposes is set out in our notification with the Information Commissioner's Register of Data Controllers. Our registration number is Z5761176. You can view our registration on the Information Commissioner's website.

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