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Privacy Notice - Housing

How the Council's Housing Service uses your information

Boston Borough Council is a Local Authority with responsibilities for Housing Services.

This notice provides details of what information we collect from you, what we do with it and who it might be shared with.

Identity and contact details of the controller and the data protection officer

Boston Borough Council is the data controller.

You can contact the Data Protection Officer at: Data Protection Officer, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 8QR.

Email: Data Protection Officer 

Why do we collect this information?

We need to process your data in order to ensure that the services we are providing meet our statutory and legal obligations, are fit for purpose, efficient and effective. The information is being collected for the following purposes:

  1. To process a housing or homelessness application
  2. To facilitate the allocation of housing
  3. To provide housing options advice and to help seek a solution to housing needs
  4. To provide a disabled facilities grant
  5. To investigate complaints made e.g. about property standards, landlord issues etc.
  6. To progress enforcement following complaints made
  7. To issue licences for Houses in Multiple Occupation
  8. To investigate empty dwellings with a view to bringing them back into use
  9. To progress energy efficiency promotions or offers when available
  10. To monitor the housing stock in the borough in relation to housing conditions and the expected needs of the population

The legal basis for these purposes is:

  • Legal obligation - all purposes except 9
  • Task carried out in the public interest - all purposes

Some of the key pieces of legislation we use are:

  • Local Government Act 2003
  • Housing Act 1996 (as amended by Homelessness Act 2002); Homelessness Reduction Act 2017
  • Housing Act 2004; The Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002, and related legislation
  • Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996
  • Housing and Planning Act 2016
  • The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 and Energy Acts 2011 and 2013

What information do we collect about you?

For all of the purposes detailed , we collect basic personal data. This can include your name, date of birth, national insurance number and contact details (including telephone number, email or address). In order to verify your details we may also ask for proof of identify such as photocopies of passport or driving licence.

To facilitate allocation of housing and to meet your housing needs we may also record details of other residents within your household including any dependent children and details of anyone who is authorised to act on your behalf, if applicable. We may also require details of your immigration status and your right to live and work in the UK.

In specific and restricted circumstances, we may also need to collect additional information including:

  • occupation
  • employment and income history
  • court orders or convictions
  • enforcement orders
  • details of other HMO licences held or applied for
  • bank details
  • previous housing circumstances.

In addition we may need to collect sensitive personal information such as nationality, medical/health information, support needs, racial or ethnic origin, gender, religious beliefs and relationship status.

We keep copies of your communications with us and our responses. This allows us to record our communications with you, make decisions, monitor our performance and improve the services that we deliver.

We will keep your information safe and secure and have systems, processes and training designed to achieve this.

Where do we collect information from?

We collect information from you using a variety of different methods, including when you apply for a service, complete one of our forms, when you telephone, write, email or meet with us. We may also obtain information about you from other Boston Borough Council services

In order to provide housing services, we may collect information from other sources including landlords, other Local Authorities, Government Departments, NHS Health and Social Care, contractors, credit check agencies, employers. On occasion, we may receive information from neighbours or other members of the public.

Who might we share your information with?

We may share your information with partner organisations, including:

  • Registered social housing providers and other landlords
  • Mortgage providers
  • Mental Health services
  • Central Government
  • Department of Work and Pensions
  • Youth Offending Service
  • Probation Service
  • Women's Aid
  • Job centres
  • Voluntary Sector support / advice organisations
  • Immigration services
  • Adult social care / Children Services
  • Gypsy & Traveller Liaison
  • Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue
  • Police
  • DASH Services
  • Internal departments and other local authorities
  • External auditors and regulators
  • Cabinet Office to take part in the National Fraud Initiative

The Council has a duty to protect public funds. We may check your information within the Council for verification purposes and/or for the prevention of fraud and for the exercise and defence of legal claims. We may share your information with other organisations where we are required to do so for the purposes of the prevention or detection of crime.

What are my rights in relation to the information held about me?

You have the following rights:

  • To see any information held about you by making a subject access request.
  • To withdraw consent at any time, where the legal basis for processing is consent.
  • To data portability, where the legal basis for processing is (i) consent or (ii) performance of a contract.
  • To request rectification or erasure of your information, where data protection legislation allows this.

How long do we keep hold of your information?

We keep your information for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for.

This is a summary of the key retention periods.

  • Housing applications: Whilst the applicant is registered on Boston Homechoice and for 6 years after the file is closed
  • Homeless records: 6 years after homeless duty has been discharged
  • HMO Licences: 6 years after the term of the licence
  • Grant funding: 10 years from completion of the grant

Documents beyond the period of retention are securely destroyed in the year following the end of the retention period. Please contact the Data Protection Officer if you would like more details.

Will we send your information outside the UK?

We do not transfer your information outside of the UK. Should it become necessary to do so, we would ensure appropriate safeguards are in place.

Do I have a right to complain about the way information has been used?

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, please let us know and we will try to resolve this.

If you are still concerned, you can contact the Information Commissioner: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Telephone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number

Email: The Information Commissioner's Office

Do I have to provide my personal data to you?

Yes, as we are complying with statutory legislation, legal requirement or contract, we need this information to ensure that we are meeting these requirements and providing the best quality services.

If we did not collect this information, we would be unable to meet our obligations as the Local Housing Authority, provide you with the services you are entitled to and to ensure adequate and appropriate housing within the Council area.

Do you use any automated processes to make decisions about me?

We do not use automated decision making processes.

 

This notice was last updated in August 2018.