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Housing needs privacy notice

We take your privacy seriously and will only keep and use your personal information for reasons law requires or allows. The council is the data controller for the personal information it holds about you in relation to assessing your housing needs. What follows is an explanation of how the council will use this information; who it will be shared with and how long the council will keep it.

The personal information we hold

The council collects your personal data when you approach us for help with your housing circumstances. The personal data collected may include the following:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • gender
  • relationship status
  • religion 
  • nationality
  • pets
  • telephone and mobile numbers
  • email address
  • third party contact information
  • address history for the last 5 years from date of approach including landlord details
  • national Insurance Number
  • household makeup including children
  • information about your health and that of your household
  • income including benefit entitlement
  • involvement of other agencies i.e. Children’s Services
  • income and expenditure information
  • identification
  • proof of any disabilities
  • proof of savings/stocks and shares
  • bank/building society/credit union statements
  • payslips
  • address history of immediate family members e.g. parents, siblings, and nondependent children
  • support needs of the household 
  • referrals to organisations/agencies you have provided consent for us to contact
  • information about your mortgage
  • information about any property that you own
  • outstanding debts including statements
  • legal action concerning your current or previous home
  • criminal convictions (not including spent convictions)
  • risk of harm to yourself or others

The council may also collect anonymous preferences, interests and favourites. Occasionally, the council may ask you for more sensitive personal data. Where it does so, the council will provide you with more information about why it is being collected at that time. 

As many of the ways in which you interact with the council are through the council’s website via electronic devices, the council may automatically collect information about your device and the software on it. This information is capable of being personal data and can include unique identifiers such as your IP address, browser type, domain names, access times and referring website addresses. This type of information is used for the operation of the service, to maintain quality of the service, and to provide general statistics regarding use of the council’s website.

What that personal information will be used for

Legal obligation or public task under various UK laws including but not limited to:

  • The Crime and Disorder Act 1998
  • The Children Act 1989
  • The Housing Acts 1988, 1996, 2002, 2004
  • The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017
  • The Landlord and Tenant Act 1987
  • The Protection from Eviction Act 1977

Personal data may be shared with MHCLG and their authorised data processors for the purpose of conducting research including into the effectiveness and long term outcomes of homelessness related support.

Who we may share that personal information with

  • Dorset Council and BCP jointly as Dorset Home Choice collect, use and are responsible for certain personal information about you which they share between themselves and Dorset Home Choice landlord partners
  • judicial agencies eg courts
  • police
  • the courts, law enforcement agencies and bodies undertaking the collection of debts
  • health agencies
  • education providers
  • other local authorities
  • immigration services
  • The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) or their authorised processors
  • safeguarding boards
  • emergency accommodation providers i.e. bed and breakfast landlords
  • elected members and MPs (as your representative)
  • funding bodies 
  • landlords – housing associations, registered providers and private landlords
  • the council may also share your personal information with service areas within the council or other relevant organisations for purposes which may include law enforcement.
  • the probation service
  • third sector organisations
  • community land trusts
  • contractors appointed by the council for the purposes of property maintenance

Finally, you should be aware that the council has a duty to protect public funds. It may therefore use the personal information for the prevention or detection of fraud and may therefore share this personal information with other bodies for these purposes.

As a mandatory participant of the National Fraud Initiative (NFI), we sometimes share personal data with the NFI.  The purpose of this data sharing is to detect and prevent fraud.  The NFI may share the personal data we provide with other bodies or organisations including: HMRC, the Department for Work and Pensions and IT suppliers to the NFI.

Our legal basis for sharing the data is that the processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest.  Where we share special category data, our additional legal basis is that the processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest for the exercise of a function of the Crown, a Minister of the Crown, or a government department.

The personal data we provide will be used by the NFI to match records across different data sources in order to prevent and detect fraud.  More information about how the NFI use personal data

The length of time we may keep your information 

The council will only keep this personal information for as long as is necessary, but generally this will be no longer than 2 years from the date on which the case was closed or as required by law.

Your rights

You have certain rights with regard to your personal information, however not all of these rights will be available to you in all situations, particularly where the processing of your information is necessary for the council to carry out its duties and powers. 

For how to contact the council about data protection matters or how to make a complaint about how your personal information has been handled by the council, please see our data protection pages.

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General data protection regulation (GDPR)

We will only use the personal information supplied by you in accordance with GDPR. By giving us this information you are consenting to such use as set out in our privacy notice.