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Kent Homechoice Privacy Notice

Kent Homechoice needs to process personal data in order to deliver our services to you:

  • To assess whether you are eligible and qualify for the housing register
  • To determine your level of housing need
  • To determine what type and size of property you are eligible to bid for

We are committed to treating your information securely, with respect and in line with data protection law.

This privacy notice tells you what to expect when Kent Homechoice process your personal information. This is the main privacy notice for Kent Homechoice. It is important for you to read this policy in full to understand what information we hold about you, how we may use it and your rights in relation to your data.

We keep our privacy notice under regular review and we will place any updates on our website. If you would like to receive a hard copy of our privacy notice, please let us know.

For further information you can contact the Kent Homechoice Partnership Manager as follows:

The Kent Homechoice Partnership Manager

c/o Dover District Council

White Cliffs Business Park

Dover

Kent CT16 3PJ

Kenthomechoice@dover.gov.uk

For independent advice about data protection, privacy, e-privacy and data sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner:

Information Commissioner,

Wycliffe House, Water Lane,

Wilmslow,

Cheshire SK9 5AF

Phone: 0303 123 1113

Email: casework@ico.org.uk

Website: www.ico.org.uk

 

What Information do we collect about you and how is this used?

We will collect personal information when we need this with most information being collected when you submit your housing application as this enables us to make a full assessment of your housing needs and determine whether you qualify and are eligible and what size and type of property you would be best suited to.

Most information we hold will be collected from you but we may also obtain this from third parties such as your doctor (or other health professional) or a previous landlord.

To prioritise and assess housing applications we may ask you some or all of the following question types:

What do we ask

Why do we need to know this

Personal details

So that we can verify who you are and contact you

To see if you already have another application

Date of birth

To help us to work out what properties you are eligible for

Gender, religion or belief, sexual orientation

The Public Sector Equality Duty requires that we ask these questions in order to:

Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act. Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not

Your answers to some of these questions will also enable us to work out the size of property that you would be eligible for.

This information is also

Disability, sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity

To work out the size and type of property that you would be best suited to.

Address History and who you pay council tax to

To work out if you have a local connection

Previous landlord details

We may need to ask your landlord for a reference to support your application

Whether you have pets

Some properties will have a no pets policy

Joint applicants details

To work out what size of property you are eligible and to find out whether they have any other housing applications registered

Household member detailsTo work out what size and type of property you are eligible for

National Insurance Number

To check for duplicate applications

Email address

For verification purposes

Employment details

To work out if you have a local connection via your employment

Whether you receive child benefit

We ask you this as if you do not receive child benefit then we may not be able to register you to be housed with this child as they should be living with the person that receives child benefit

Whether you are an approved foster carer

To work out the size of property you require

Citizenship questions

To work out whether you are eligible for social housing

Medical questions

We will only ask for medical information where your medical situation is affected by the housing that you are currently living in.

Local Connection details

This helps us to work out if you have a local connection with an area via a family member

Details about your current home

This helps us to work out your banding and the type of property you need

Details about rent arrears and reasons for loss of previous homes

We need to know if you have rent arrears or have lost a home previously as a result of anti social behaviour and some Council policies will restrict the properties that you are able to bid on

Whether you own or have previously owned property

To work out whether you are eligible for social housing

Whether you are related to any staff member from the Kent Homechoice partnership

Because we made need to seek senior officers authority before a property offer can be made

Financial Questions

Some properties will be less affordable than others and this information will help us to work with you to determine which properties are affordable.

* When you provide information about household members we will write to them to establish that they consent to us holding their information

Provision of some of the information requested by us is part of a ‘contractual requirement’. Without this information, we will be unable to accept an application for services. For example, we cannot see if you are eligible for a tenancy or check that an application is not fraudulent without being able to verify your identity. Please speak to us with any concerns.

Where enquiries relate to household members, it is in our legitimate interests to know who you wish to live with you and to check that accommodation offered is adequate for current and near future needs of the household.

 

How will we protect information about you?

We will apply appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure your personal information is secure. For example, we have systems in place to ensure that access to personal information is restricted to authorised individuals on a strictly need-to-know basis.

When we need to share personal data with our contractors and third party suppliers, our relationships are governed by our contracts with them which include strict data sharing and confidentiality protocols.

To help us ensure confidentiality of your personal information we will ask you (and any of your representatives) security questions to confirm your identity when you call us and as may be necessary when we call you. We will not discuss your personal information with anyone other than you, unless you have given us prior written authorisation to do so or where we have received a clear verbal instruction from you (as a one-off circumstance).

 

Who will we share your information with?

We may share information that you provide with other organisations such as floating support providers, occupational therapists where it is considered that their services may be of benefit to you and when you have given us permission to do so. When sharing information we will comply with all aspects of data protection law.

Where the information is of a sensitive nature, for example about your health, we will generally obtain consent from you prior to sharing this information, unless we are required or permitted to share this by law.

Where ‘sharing’ is in our ‘legitimate business interests’, we may share your information without seeking your consent first. This may be with:

  • Debt and money management advisors
  • Other Local authority teams such as social services, environmental health and benefit agencies.
  • Utility companies (and their representatives) and Council Tax Departments to ensure billing details are correct.
  • Police and other relevant authorities (e.g. Department of Work & Pensions, Probation Service, HM Revenue and Customs) in relation to the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of offenders or the collection of tax or duty.
  • Agencies committed to protecting public funds and/or preventing fraud in line with the National Fraud Initiative.  More information on the work undertaken is available from the Cabinet Office.
  • Other statutory organisations e.g. social services and health authorities as necessary for exercising statutory functions.

We may also share information when required by law for example where ordered by the Court or to protect an individual from immediate harm.

How long will you keep my data?

Kent Homechoice will keep your information no longer than necessary for the purpose or allowed by law.

We have a document retention schedule which sets out how long we keep different types of information for. This is based on National Housing Federation guidance, legal requirements and best practice.

Please contact kenthomechoice@dover.gov.uk if you would like any more information.

The right to be informed

Through the provision of our privacy notices, we will be open and transparent about how and why we use your personal information.

The right of access

You have a right to ask us what personal information we hold about you and to request a copy of your information. This is known as a ‘subject access request’ (SAR).

SARs need to be made in writing and we ask that your written request is accompanied by proof of your address and identify.

If you are seeking to obtain specific information (e.g. about a particular matter or from a particular time period), it helps if you clarify the details of what you would like to receive in your written request.

If someone is requesting information on your behalf they will need written confirmation from you to evidence your consent for us to release this and proof of ID (both yours and theirs).

We have 30 days within which to provide you with the information you’ve asked for (although we will try to provide this to you as promptly as possible).In response to SARs, we will provide you with a copy of the information we hold that relates to you.

For a SARs request contact your Local Authority directly via the following emails:

Ashford Borough Council - foi@ashford.gov.uk

Canterbury City Council - dataprotection@canterbury.gov.uk

Dartford Borough Council - https://www.dartford.gov.uk/by-category/council-and-democracy2/subject-access-rights-data-protection-act-1998

Dover District Council - dataprotection@dover.gov.uk

Folkestone & Hythe District Council - Information.Officer@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk

Gravesham Borough Council - gdpr@medway.gov.uk

Maidstone Borough Council - kenthomechoice@dover.gov.uk

Medway Council - data.protection@medway.gov.uk

Sevenoaks District Council - data.protection@sevenoaks.gov.uk

Swale Borough Council - sar@swale.gov.uk

Thanet District Council - foi@thanet.gov.uk

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council - foi@tmbc.gov.uk

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council - dataprotection@tunbridgewells.gov.uk

The right to rectification

You can ask us to rectify your personal data if it is inaccurate or incomplete. Please help us to keep our records accurate by keeping us informed if your details change.

The right to erasure

The right to erasure is also known as ‘the right to be forgotten’. In some circumstances, you can ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing. This is not an absolute right, and we will need to consider the circumstances of any such request and balance this against our need to continue processing the data. Our response will also be guided by the provisions of our retention schedule.

The right to restrict processing

In some circumstances you can ask us to restrict processing, for example:

  • If you disagree with the accuracy of personal data.

  • If we’re processing your data on the grounds of legitimate interests (as detailed earlier), and whilst we consider whether our legitimate grounds override those of yours.

The right to data portability

If the situation arises where it would be helpful for you to move, copy or transfer personal data we hold about you, across different services, you may be able to ask us to do this. Please contact us to discuss.

The right to object

You can tell us if you object to our processing of your personal data:

  • Based on legitimate interests.

Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling

You can ask us to review any decisions that are determined by automated means. You can also object to our use of your personal data for profiling.

If you’d like to talk to us about your rights, you can contact us at kenthomechoice@dover.gov.uk. Alternatively, if you want to raise a complaint about our processing of your data or would like to seek an independent view, you can contact the Information Commissioner using the contact details provided at the start of this notice.