Personal information provided to or to be gathered by Hightown Housing Association is controlled by Hightown Housing Association Ltd, Hightown House, Maylands Avenue, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP2 4XH.
This privacy notice summarises how we process your personal data when supporting you as a service user. Additional Privacy Notices are available for Residents, and current, former and prospective staff. Hightown may update this statement at any time.
Why we collect information about you
Hightown needs to collect, process and store personal information about you, and your advocate or next of kin where you provide that information, to be able to deliver efficient and effective support services.
How we collect information about you
We collect information about you in a variety of ways, including:
- When you apply for support services with us
- When you’re referred to us by a commissioning body such as Local Authority or Health Service
- From commissioning bodies as part of ongoing support
- When customers sign a support agreement
- Through ongoing contact with Support teams
- Recording calls to and from us
- When dealing with anti-social behaviour cases
- When providing budgeting advice
When you apply for support we can ask for and consider any references / information necessary to assess your application. This may include, but is not limited to, information from other Landlords, the Police, Probation Service, support services, Social Services and health services.
We also collect information when you voluntarily complete customer surveys, provide feedback and participate in competitions.
Our website does not capture or store personal information, but does log the user’s IP address and cookies to record the number of visitors to our website.
Who we collect information about
- Customers – this includes current and former tenants, and applicants for housing. People who live in our properties or access our services, this includes family members and people associated with them.
- Applicant and people referred to our service.
- Visitors to our website and offices.
- 3rd parties; individuals whose details you provide as next of kin and individuals who contact Hightown on your behalf such as:
Other Carers (including family members)
What information do we collect?
During your tenancy and as part of your application, we will generally collect and maintain the following information:
- Your name, address and contact details
- Date of Birth
- Contact details for next of kin and individuals who may contact Hightown on your behalf
- Identification information such as National Insurance Numbers
- Income, benefits and other financial details
- Payment details
- Information regarding your tenancy if you have one with us, including anti-social behaviour, tenancy breaches and complaints made about you, members of your household or visitors
- Medical conditions and disabilities relevant to your housing
- Case notes of the support provided to you
- Vulnerabilities and support needs relevant to your housing
- Your photograph or digital image including CCTV footage
- Information about ethnicity and other special category data, with your consent
- Criminal records/convictions
- Demographic information such as preferences and interests
- Other general information relevant to customer surveys or required to carry out the services we provide to you
- Voice recordings of phone calls
What do we do with the information we collect?
We use this information in order to comply with our legal obligations, manage your tenancy and understand your needs. We will use it to:
- Process applications for housing and services
- Discuss and arranging support for you with Commissioners, Next of Kin, Appointees, Advocates other Care Agencies and Statutory bodies
- Make sure the information is accurate
- Offer welfare benefits information
- Resolve anti-social behaviour reports and neighbour disputes
- Investigate complaints
- Confirm your identity and the identity of other members of your household
- Investigate or prevent fraud
- Enforce tenancy/licence/support agreement conditions and end tenancies/ lettings/agreements where conditions are breached
- Check occupancy to protect the safety of residents in the event of an incident where evacuation is needed
- Prevent or detect crime
- Provide information to public bodies including local authorities and health services to investigate and resolve environmental health and related issues
- Engage with customers to get feedback on our services
- Provide information on education, employment and training opportunities
- Target information to customers who need it, for example those who are impacted by welfare reform
- Enquire about progress with benefit claims, award dates and amounts
- Improve our services to customers
- Send you emails and texts about out services
- Process requests from third parties for example, Council Tax, utility providers
- For statistical analysis and returns to regulatory bodies
- Monitor service quality, complaint resolution
We will not provide your information to any other company for direct marketing purposes. We will not sell or lease your personal information to third parties.
Who do we share your information with?
We will not share your personal information without your consent, unless allowed to by law. We can release account and other personal information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, to enforce or apply the conditions of our agreement with you, including ending a tenancy/licence/support agreement, or to protect the rights, property or safety of Hightown Housing Association, our customers or others. This includes exchanging information with other organisations for the detection and/or prevention of crime.
Examples of organisations we may share your information with, where appropriate, are:
- Contractors providing services on behalf of Hightown such as repairs, safety checks, estate improvements and parking schemes
- Local Authorities
- Housing Benefit Departments
- Department of Work and Pensions
- Social Services
- Police and other law enforcement agencies
- Probation Service
- Other Landlords
- Credit reference agencies
- Banks, Lenders and Creditors when helping solve debt problems with your specific consent
- Our Insurers
- Utilities Companies
- Council Tax
- Debt Recovery Agencies
- Bailiff services
- Mail distributors
- Fire Service
- Support Agencies
- Health Services
- Legal and other professional advisors
- Courts and other parties in court proceedings
- Regulators, government agencies and other organisations where we have a lawful obligation to disclose information
- Our Residents Portal online service provider
- Other people who you may wish to be involved with a process e.g. your MP or a friend/family member. This will not be done without your permission and you can withdraw your permission at any time.
- Organisations with a function of auditing and / or administering public funds for the purpose of detection and prevention of fraud
- Third parties in the context of the possible sale or transfer of services in which you are involved.
How long do we keep your data?
Documents are retained in accordance with the latest Document Retention guidelines for Housing Associations published by the National Housing Federation. These are available on request.
Your rights under Data Protection laws
You have the right to raise a concern about these issues. You can also raise a concern with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if you are not satisfied with the way Hightown deals with your concern:
The right to be informed
You have the right to be informed about the collection and use of your personal data, including the purpose of processing the personal data, how long it is kept for and who it will be shared with.
Accessing your information
You have the right to request a copy of the information that we hold about you. If you would like a copy of some or all of your personal information, please email or write to us using the contact details below. There is no charge for this so long as the request is not unusually large and we will respond to you within 1 month.
Correction and Removal
We want to make sure that your personal information is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to correct or remove any information you think is inaccurate or no longer needs to be kept.
Object and Restrict
In certain circumstances, you have the right to object to your personal data being processed, or to request that its use is restricted.
You can request that your data is made available in an electronic format that can be transferred to another organisation, in a safe and secure way, without affecting its usability.
Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling
You have the right to be informed of any use of your data that involves automated decision-making and profiling. Currently Hightown does not profile personal data and does not have any automated decision-making process for service users’ data.
Security of information
We are committed to ensuring that your information is held securely. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure we have developed separate IT policies which set out how we keep secure the information held on our systems. We also have a number of physical security measures in place, such as office security and confidential destruction of waste paper.
Your support information will be held until such time as our contract with the Commissioning body expires or until all debts and/or legal proceedings are cleared. We will store information securely in accordance with our retention policy and legal and regulatory requirements, and it will be destroyed securely when we no longer need it.
All data is stored securely in accordance with data protection legislation and all data held on our own computer systems is stored in the UK.
Special Categories of Data
Information about health or medical conditions is processed with the explicit consent of the service user to carry out Hightown’s responsibilities as a support provider
Where Hightown processes other special categories of personal data, such as information about ethnic origin, sexual orientation, religion or belief, gender or disability this is done for the purposes of equal opportunities monitoring. Data that Hightown uses for these purposes is anonymised or is collected with the explicit consent of service users, which can be withdrawn at any time. Service users are entirely free to decide whether or not to provide such data and there are no consequences of withholding this information. If you wish to withdraw your consent contact the email below.
Lawful Basis for processing
The lawful basis for most of our personal data processing of your information is where it is necessary for the purposes of Hightown’s legitimate interests. Where Hightown relies on legitimate interests as a reason for processing data it has considered whether or not those interests are overridden by the rights and freedoms of service users and has concluded that they are not.
The lawful basis may in some instances be because we have your consent to process your personal information. Where this applies this will be made clear to you and you can withdraw your consent at any time.
We may also process your information for other reasons, such as where we are under a legal or contractual obligation to process or disclose the information; or where we need to protect your vital interests or those of another person.
Some personal information is treated as more sensitive (for example medical or diversity information). The legal basis for processing these special categories of personal information is more limited. To process special categories of personal data lawfully, we must identify a specific lawful basis for the processing, which may be because we have your consent; we need to protect the vital interests (health and safety) of you or another person; you have already made your personal information public; we or another person needs to bring or defend legal claims; there are substantial public interest grounds.
How to contact us
If you have any questions about this Privacy Notice, or the information we hold about you, please contact us at DataProtection@hightowhha.org.uk or call 01442 292300.