Housing

Who we are and what we do?

The Housing Service is responsible for managing the Council’s housing stock and dealing with Council tenants and leaseholder issues as well as undertaking day to day repairs and planned maintenance programmes. We also manage the Housing Advice Centre providing advice and assistance on housing and homelessness issues. We collect and recover income for the Council’s housing stock and for the 2,100 households in temporary accommodation.

 

Why we need your information and how we use it

The processing of your information is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation primarily under the Housing Act 1988, 1996, and 2004, the Homelessness Act 2002 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.

We take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to administer your Housing account and to provide services you have requested from us. We follow the principles of Data Protection legislation, as well as respecting people’s rights to confidentiality and privacy. Personal data can include information supplied to us such as:

  • asking people to fill in their names, addresses and health information on an official form, either online or in paper form;
  • recording and retaining the calls customers make to a call centre.

Personal information which you supply to us and information about other household members may be used in a number of ways, for example:

  • to make housing decisions
  • for fraud prevention
  • for audit and debt collection
  • for statistical analysis

When you provide information about household members we assume that you do so with their full knowledge and consent.

 

What type of information is collected from you

  • we keep financial records about the amount of money you have paid us, any amounts outstanding and action taken to recover money you owe
  • we hold names and dates of birth, photographic ID and information about your previous housing circumstances to assess housing applications and help prevent tenancy fraud and illegal subletting.
  • we hold contact details for you so we can communicate with you, and to keep you informed about other services we offer which may be useful to you
  • we record information about your needs and requirements to ensure our services are accessible; 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 housing management services including reports of antisocial behaviour; complaints; change in circumstances.
  • we may hold recordings of your telephone calls to us, as some calls to our contact centre are recorded for training and monitoring purposes so we can ensure we’re delivering a good service. Any recordings will be held in accordance with our corporate retention policy before being erased.
  • we may capture your image on our CCTV systems if you visit an estate, office or community facility which is covered by this facility. Any recordings will be held in accordance with our corporate retention policy before being erased. This data may be shared with the Police in relation to the prevention or detection of crime or fraud.
  • we may carry out market research and customer satisfaction surveys to help us to monitor our performance and to improve our services to our customers.

Generally, the information we hold will have been provided by you (on application or enquiry forms or when we communicate with you), 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).

 

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

Sharing information with third parties could help us to deal with your claim more quickly. When sharing information we will comply with all aspects of the Data Protection Act. Where necessary or required, we may share your personal information as follows:

  • with our contractors, in order to undertake repairs, maintenance or improvement works
  • with third party service providers, in connection with services performed on our behalf. For example, if we use a research company to carry out a resident satisfaction survey or if we use a mailing house to distribute our newsletters.
  • our relationships with such providers are governed by our contracts with them which include strict data sharing and confidentiality protocols.
  • with landlords, housing associations and trusts, in connection with tenancy references and associated enquiries.
  • with community partners in connection with the delivery of co-ordinated local services.
  • with utility companies (and their representatives) and Council Tax Offices, to ensure billing details are correct.
  • with credit reference agencies and debt collection agencies, in connection with some housing applications and in relation to any outstanding charges.
  • with local authorities and government departments, as necessary for administering justice, or for exercising statutory, governmental, or other public functions.
  • with 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.
  • with other statutory organisations, e.g. social services and health authorities, as necessary for exercising statutory functions.

This list is not exhaustive as there are other circumstances where we may also be required to share information e.g. in order to meet our legal obligations. We will use all information held by us for the purposes of law enforcement, regulation and licensing, criminal prosecutions and court proceedings.

 

How long we keep your information

We will only hold your records during the period of our relationship with you and for a set period afterwards to allow us to meet our legal obligations including resolving any follow up issues between us (for example if you live in one of our properties we will hold information about you for the duration of your tenancy. If you move and are no longer a resident we will usually keep records about you for up to 6 years. The Information Asset Register lists the Limitations Act 1980 {Section 2} which provides timescales for retention of records i.e. the current year + 6 years.

 

Business Intelligence, profiling and automated-decision making

Please see the relevant section of the Corporate Privacy Notice.

Protecting your information

Please see the relevant section of the Corporate Privacy Notice.

How you can access, update or correct your information

The Data Protection law gives you the right to apply for a copy of information about yourself. This is called a ‘Subject Access Request'. Find out how to make a Subject Access Request.

The accuracy of your information is important to us to be able to provide relevant services more quickly. We are working to make our record keeping more efficient. In the meantime, if you change your address or email address, or if any of your circumstances change or any of the other information we hold is inaccurate or out of date, please email us at housingservicesadmin@redbridge.gov.uk, or write to us at:

Data Protection Officer
8th Floor, Rear
255-259 High Road
Ilford, Essex IG1 1NY

Your information choice and rights

Please see the relevant section of the Corporate Privacy Notice.

Information Commissioner’s Office

Please see the relevant section of the Corporate Privacy Notice.

 

 

 

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