Homelessness service privacy notice

Data Protection legislation sets out when we are lawfully allowed to process (collect, use, and keep) your data. This notice tells you about how your information will be stored, collected, and shared when you contact our homelessness service, and especially when you make an application for help as a homeless person.

Further information

The Data Protection Act 2018, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679, and the Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulations 2018

We need to make enquiries and obtain, hold, and share information in order to complete our statutory homeless duties to you. Even if no statutory application is made, we will sometimes assist with advice and referrals for support or accommodation.

Activity we may undertake, as proportionate and appropriate, when you contact us

1. Carrying out enquiries to any individuals, agencies statutory and non-statutory bodies both now and in the future (and hold this data on file, and share this data where appropriate) for the purpose of:

  • Helping to resolve your housing problem/s (including referrals to Support services or temporary accommodation providers. This may be a Council team, or an external organisation commissioned by, or in partnership with us.)
  • Helping to resolve your housing-related problem/s which may mean you are at risk of becoming/remaining homeless.
  • Assessing any application for housing and any possible application for homeless assistance under the Housing Act 1996 and any support needs (including your health, financial and employment needs).
  • Assessing any possible duty under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 where a decision might be reached on any application that a housing accommodation duty is not owed or has been owed but has come to an end, or if you are a single person any assessment under adult social care legislation.
  • To protect the public funds administered by us for the prevention and detection of fraud.
  • To safeguard if the information received indicates any matters that may indicate you, or a member of your family, are at risk of harm.

Information may be obtained and also shared. This could be with landlords; individuals; with any Council Department (including Benefit Services and Social Services); Government Department or Agency; Police; Hospital; Doctor; School and also suppliers of Gas, Water, Electricity, Digital Communications, Satellite TVs, Mobile telephones and landlines; voluntary sector bodies including bodies providing debt advice and support. This list is not exhaustive but that we will only seek or share information when it is appropriate and lawful.

We have a responsibility to ensure that information held about individuals is obtained fairly and lawfully and that the information held is accurate. Therefore, one purpose of us undertaking enquiries will be to verify the information you have provided as part of your homeless application, to prevent fraud and ensure our statutory duties are undertaken properly and fairly.

We will hold information for a standard 6-year period starting at closure of your application. We will only hold information for longer or shorter than this if there is a legal reason for doing so.

Credit Checks

We have advised you that we may undertake a credit search. This will leave an enquiry footprint with the credit reference agency we search. These are for your protection so that you may see who has been searching your credit report. These footprints are not the same as those recorded by lenders when you apply for credit and do not affect your credit score.

The agency we use is Equifax UK and their search results are the combination of several pieces of data from many sources, such as the County Courts, the local Electoral Register, and in some cases lenders themselves. These agencies are responsible for the accuracy of the information they have submitted about you. 

Equifax’s address is: Equifax Ltd, Customer Service Centre, PO Box 10036, Leicester, LE3 4FS.

Legal bases we process data

We have the following legal bases for processing the above mentioned, but evidence of your understanding of this will be useful when approaching other agencies to make it clear to them that you know about what is occurring with your personal data:

Article 6 GDPR

  • processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation (duties under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 and provisions under the Children Act outlined above) to which the controller is subject;
  • processing is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject or of another natural person;
  • processing is necessary to perform a task in the public interest or for our official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law as outlined above.

Article 9 GDPR

  • processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest, on the basis of Union or Member State law which shall be proportionate to the aim pursued, respect the essence of the right to data protection and provide for suitable and specific measures to safeguard the fundamental rights and the interests of the data subject as outlined above.

Article 10 GDPR

  • processing is necessary for The DPA 2018 will provide a lawful basis to process criminal offence data.


2. Contacting you by designated mobile phone number/address/e-mail address

If you have provided us with contact information, we will use it to stay in touch with you. You must inform us immediately if there is a change to your email contact address or mobile phone number. You must also inform us immediately if there is a change to your address.

3. Data may be shared with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government - MHCLG (previously known as the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) as part of the help we provide to you.

Sharing with MHCLG - How is your information being used? Will it affect you?

DCLG will use this information for research purposes, to help them work out how much support they will need to provide to us to help you and other people and households in the future. It will not affect your benefits, services or any treatment that you get. Your information will be anonymised in published research findings and handled with care in accordance with the law.

Sharing with MHCLG - Why is your information being shared?

MHCLG are conducting a study entitled: ‘Understanding more about what causes homelessness and how well homelessness services meet peoples’ needs.’ By carrying out this research, MHCLG aims to find out whether housing services prevent homelessness, people return for help and/or move regularly, homelessness programmes (such as Housing First) reduce homelessness, and if there are other causes of homelessness and outcomes, such as poor health.

What lawful basis are MHCLG using to process my data?

Article 6 GDPR

  • The processing is necessary for MHCLG to perform a task in the public interest or for your official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law.

Article 9 GDPR

  • processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest, on the basis of Union or Member State law which shall be proportionate to the aim pursued, respect the essence of the right to data protection and provide for suitable and specific measures to safeguard the fundamental rights and the interests of the data subject.

Article 10 GDPR

  • The DPA 2018 will provide a lawful basis to process criminal offence data (as required by Article 10 GDPR).

For more information about this, please contact Housing Options at: housingoptions@leicester.gov.uk.

How to request a copy of the information we hold about you

  • Write to us at: Information Governance & Risk, Legal Services, 4th Floor, Rutland Wing, City Hall, 115 Charles Street, Leicester, LE1 1FZ
  • Email us at: Info.requests@leicester.gov.uk