Privacy Notice - Housing Options and Homelessness

When you contact us about your housing options, homelessness and or threatened homelessness we will ask you for your personal details and the personal details for your household

This means that we need to provide you with certain information; this Privacy Notice (below) explains what happens to your information. You are also asked to read the Privacy Notice from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) about their research project on homelessness.

Privacy Notice

Data Controller

Spelthorne Borough Council (SBC) is the body exercising control over the purpose for which and the manner in which your personal data is processed.

Data Controller's contact details

Spelthorne Borough Council, Council Offices, Knowle Green, Staines-upon-Thames, TW18 1XB. Telephone: 01784 451499.

Data Protection Officer

Email: data.protection@spelthorne.gov.uk.

The legal basis for and the purposes of the processing

SBC has statutory duties on housing and homelessness set out in the Housing Act 1996, Homelessness Act 2002 and Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.

Should you contact SBC about your housing options, homelessness or threatened homelessness, the personal data provided by you will be used:

  • to assess your situation;
  • to contact you about your situation and the information you have provided;
  • to request you to provide documents to prove your homelessness or threatened homelessness and your situation;
  • to contact third parties with your personal information to request further personal information about you; and
  • refer you to third parties and / or other agencies that may be able to help you

The third parties and / or other agencies which we may contact for further information about your household, or refer you to for further support will depend on your personal situation, but may include:

  • Social services and related agencies
  • NHS medical professionals
  • Police, or probation services
  • Your Doctor or associated Doctor's surgery staff
  • Housing Associations
  • Rent Start
  • Other departments within Spelthorne Borough Council
  • Citizens' Advice

This list is not exhaustive, and we may need to use your data to refer you to other third parties and / or other relevant agencies.

SBC has a legal basis in processing your data in this way without your explicit consent because we carry out a 'public task' (General Data Protection Regulations Article 6(1)(e)). This means that using your personal data, we will contact third parties to obtain and share information in order to comply with the statutory obligation of processing your housing and/or homelessness application. The processing of your personal data is necessary for SBC to comply with its legal obligations under the law on housing and homelessness.

The source of the personal data

For the purposes of housing and homelessness applications and approaches for advice on homelessness and housing options you are the applicant and are the source of the personal data about you and the members of your household.

Personal information about you relating to you and your household may also be gathered from other sources such as private sector landlords, housing associations, lettings agents, mortgage lending companies, friends and relatives you and your household may have been living with, health services, children, family and adult services, education services, Department of Work and Pensions, Housing Benefit and Council Tax services, Job Centre Plus, Ministry of Defence, the Police, prisons, probation and youth offending services, secure training units, employers, Citizens Advice and voluntary sector organisations. This list is not complete, and depending on what your circumstances we may collect data from other third parties.

Recipients and categories of recipients of the personal data

Your data will be collected and processed by SBC staff involved in the administration and management of the housing register, homelessness, housing advice and options.

Information about you relating to your housing options, homelessness or threatened homelessness may be shared with third parties such as private sector landlords, housing associations, lettings agents, health services, children, family and adult services, education services, Department of Work and Pensions, Housing Benefit and Council Tax services, the Police, prisons, probation and youth offending services, Citizens Advice and voluntary sector organisations.

SBC is also required to provide MHCLG with your personal information for the purpose of evaluating and researching homelessness nationally. You can read the  MHCLG Privacy Notice [155kb] for more information and an explanation for further details.

In addition, we take part in data matching exercises, for example under the National Fraud Initiative (NFI), to verify the information which you provide. The NFI is an exercise that matches electronic data within and between public and private sector bodies to prevent and detect fraud. SBC is required to participate in the NFI. We will also cross-check the information you provide with third party organisations for the purposes of fraud prevention, for example credit reference agencies or accredited contractors or organisations.

Further information on onward transfers

SBC will not transfer the personal data you have provided outside of the UK or European Union unless this is permitted in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018.

How long the personal data will be kept for

The personal data you have supplied will be destroyed in accordance with our Data Retention Policy.

Statutory Obligations to provide the personal data

There is no statutory obligation on you to provide any personal data about you, however, if you do not, your application cannot be considered further.

Automated Decision Making

The personal data provided by you may be used for automated decision making. However, this will only be the case if you are applying to join the Council's Housing Register.

Access to the Council's Housing Register is governed by the rules of the Council's pdf icon Housing Allocations Policy [417kb]. These rules have been built into our computer system to help us to and to make fair and consistent decisions in line with policy.

  • Eligibility to join the register
    When you complete an online application to join the Council's Housing Register, we will use the information that you provide in your initial assessment to give you guidance as to whether, based on the information that you have provided, we think you will be eligible to join. If you are advised at Stage 2 that we do not think you will be eligible to join, but you proceed to make an application in any event, you will receive a system-generated decision which will explain to you that an automated decision has been made on your application. This means that whilst your application will have been registered, the automated decision will have determined that you are ineligible to join. You will have the right to request a review of this decision. This review will be undertaken by a member of the Housing Register team
  • Your priority on the register
    When you submit your online application to join the Council's Housing Register, we will use the information that you provide within your application to decide on the priority that your application will be awarded. If the answers that you provide meet certain criteria which means that your application would be placed in the lowest priority band, you will receive a system-generated decision which will explain to you that an automated decision has been made on your application. This means that the automated decision will have determined that your application is awarded a certain priority (what banding your application is placed in). You will have the right to request a review of this decision. This review will be undertaken by a member of the Housing Register team

Data Subject Rights

You have some specific rights in respect of your personal data. These may include some or all of the following rights to:

  • see what personal data about you SBC holds at any time (subject to certain limitations, for example where third parties are identified);
  • have SBC correct any errors (if any) in the personal data it holds about you;
  • request your personal data is erased (though this right will not apply where SBC is processing your personal data because it is necessary to comply with a legal obligation);
  • request that processing of your personal data is restricted (this will only apply in certain situations, for example where its accuracy is contested, where the processing is unlawful and you oppose its proposed erasure by SBC, or where SBC no longer needs to process the personal data, but it is required by you in connection with legal claims);
  • object to the processing where the processing is necessary for a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the data controller (though SBC will still be able to continue with the processing in certain circumstances, such as if there are compelling grounds for the processing which override your interests)

If you wish to exercise any of your rights under data protection laws, please contact the Data Protection Officer using the details above.

Will the personal data be processed for a different purpose?

No. If SBC needs to inform recipients about any action it has taken under the Data Protection Act then it will do so by placing a Notice on SBC's website informing the public of any relevant changes.

If you are dissatisfied with how your personal data is processed by SBC, then please contact the Data Protection Officer in the first instance.

If you remain dissatisfied, you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner who can be contacted at: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, and Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.

SBC's Data Protection information and Cookies policy outline the council's responsibility to users of its website.