Housing needs: Data Privacy Notice

The identity and contact details of the company

Housing Needs, Reading Borough Council, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU

Contact details of the Data Protection Officer

Ricky.gill@reading.gov.uk

What personal data is held?

Names, address history, DOBs, protected characteristics, contact details (email/telephone), next of kin details, household information, legal certificates, bank details including statements, income details including copies of pay slips, benefit award letters, other financial information such as debts and rent information, physical/mental health conditions, GP details, nationality, recourse to public funds, NI number, offending and other information relating to the criminal justice system, support needs, substance/alcohol misuse information, employment details (name of employer).

How will the data be stored?

On secure encrypted laptops and RBC systems – data is stored on secure IT systems known as OHMs and Information @ Work (I@W) as well as shared drives for which access is restricted to the team for which the data is necessary.

Security

Any information sent externally is sent via a secure email (Global Certs).

Data relevant to the household is held on the Council’s own systems (I@W and OHMs) as well as some monitoring information being held on the shared drive (this information is kept to a minimum).

Information is also securely stored on Locata which is an internet based software system utilised by the Council to manage its housing register.

Restricting access

I@W/OHMs all have access restriction with the level of access determined through user roles.

Shared drive – access to the relevant areas of the shared drive is restricted to the teams/individuals for which the data is necessary.

Locata (internet based system used to manage housing register)– secure log in system with access only given to relevant teams/members of staff.

What is the legal basis for the collection, use and storage of the data?

Data collected and stored by Housing Needs falls under two parts of the Housing Act 1996 (as amended); Part VI and Part VII.

Under Part VI, the Council has various duties in respect of the management of its housing register and the allocation of social housing.

The legislation requires the Council to have an allocation scheme for determining priorities and for defining the procedures to be followed in allocating housing accommodation; and they must allocate in accordance with that scheme. In framing its allocation scheme to determine allocation priorities, the Council must ensure that reasonable preference is given to the certain categories of people as set out in the legislation.

Obtaining and holding information regarding the household is therefore a necessary action by the Council in order for it to meet its legal obligations under this legislation.

Under Part VII, the Council has various legal duties in respect of households that are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

The legislation requires the Council to take action to prevent homelessness and to provide assistance to people threatened with or actually homeless. This may include the provision of interim (emergency/temporary) accommodation.

Obtaining and holding information regarding the household is therefore a necessary action by the Council in order for it to meet its legal obligations under this legislation.  

Give details of how long the data will be stored and criteria used to determine this?

The type of data collected across Housing Needs falls under various categories. The following table sets out for how long each type of record should be stored.

Nature of recordRetention period
Advice about housing related issues such as exclusion, mortgage arrears, homeless prevention, single homeless adviceRetain from year record is created for 6 years
All records relating to the provision of hostels and other temporary accommodationRetain from year record is created for 6 years
All records relating to short term and emergency accommodation for homeless peopleRetain from last contact for 6 years
Information about housing transfers, applications and removalsRetain from end of tenancy for 6 years
All records relating to legal advice given to homeowners and tenants relating to housing mattersRetain from data legal advice given for 6 years
Documentation relating to rent collection and the notification and enforcement of rent arrears process, housing benefit and debt management adviceRetain from last action on the tenancy for 6 years
Case files relating to service of s.25 and s.27 and other notices to quitRetain from close of case for 6 years
All records relating to the management of housing care and repair schemesRetain from completion of the work for 6 years
All records relating ot the provision and management of affordable housingRetain from end or tenancy for 6 years. Note: any document associated with granting an RBC tenancy should remain with the tenancy file; this can include housing register forms, homelessness applications and associated investigation documents
Documents relating to housing application Retain from end or tenancy for 6 years. Note: any document associated with granting an RBC tenancy should remain with the tenancy file; this can include housing register forms, homelessness applications and associated investigation documents
Documents relating to unsuccessful housing applicationsRetain from end or tenancy for 6 years. Note: any document associated with granting an RBC tenancy should remain with the tenancy file; this can include housing register forms, homelessness applications and associated investigation documents
The register of individual housing applicationsRetain from end or tenancy for 6 years. Note: any document associated with granting an RBC tenancy should remain with the tenancy file; this can include housing register forms, homelessness applications and associated investigation documents
All records relating to the registration for a council propertyRetain from end or tenancy for 6 years. Note: any document associated with granting an RBC tenancy should remain with the tenancy file; this can include housing register forms, homelessness applications and associated investigation documents
All records relating to the management of empty residential propertiesRetain from year records created for 6 years
All records relating to deposits paid for housingRetain from year records created for 6 years

Who will it be shared with and for what purpose?

Information held by RBC may be shared with the following organisations  pursuant to meeting its legal obligations to housing applicants and those who present as homeless or threatened with homelessness and to ensure that appropriate actions are taken and support services are offered where necessary:

  • other RBC departments including Environmental Health, Housing Benefit, Housing Management and Adult Social Care
  • Brighter Futures for Children (Children’s Social Care)
  • other local authorities
  • Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)
  • other Government bodies i.e. DWP, Home Office
  • criminal justice system i.e. Police, Probation and Prison services
  • NHS
  • community/voluntary sector agencies
  • drug and alcohol support services
  • homelessness support services i.e. supported accommodation providers
  • Emergency duty service
  • Landlords/letting agents (RGS)
  • Independent medical advisor
  • Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) – for safeguarding concerns relating to children
  • Reports to the community midwives regarding under-five’s in emergency/temporary accommodation
  • Fraud (including Housing Benefit) for concerns relating to fraud/misuse of council monies
  • Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) – relating to ex-offenders for the purposes of risk management
  • Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) and Domestic Abuse Repeat Incident Meeting (DARIM) – relating to cases of domestic abuse for the purposes of risk management and safeguarding

Data may be shared with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to enable the ministry to monitor the actions taken and the housing assistance provided by Reading Borough Council.

In addition to the above, information may be shared internally for the better performance and efficiency of Council services.

how can the service user get access to it?

Subject access request form

State whether any data is to be transferred outside the EU

No

Is processing based on consent?

Consent is not sought for the processing of data – the lawful basis for processing data is that it is a public task. Data held will only be used for the purpose of meeting RBC’s legal obligations under this legislation.

What other rights does the service user have that we have to make known to them?

Data subjects have the right to have their data corrected and their right to put a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The right to be forgotten allows data subjects to withdraw their consent for information to be processed or stored. This is possible for information gathered and held as part of any housing application made under Part VI of the Housing Act 1996 (as amended).  It is important to note that it may not be possible for personal data to be deleted if it is needed for legal reasons, for reasons of public health, public interest or for medical purposes. If the consent to process data is withdrawn then the data subject will not be able to join the housing register and therefore would not be considered for social housing in Reading.

State if there will be any automated decision making

No