How we use personal information that you give to us
Who are we?
The Housing Plus Group Limited is a housing provider registered with the Homes and Communities Agency (reference L4491) and is a Community Benefit Society (reference 30224R). Housing Plus is the parent company of a group which includes South Staffordshire Housing Association and Care Plus.
South Staffordshire Housing Association is a housing provider registered with the Homes and Communities Agency (reference LH4121) and is a Charitable Community Benefit Society (reference 281312R).
Care Plus is a provider of care and support services for older people and those with disabilities. Care Plus is registered with the Care Quality Commission (reference 2000032662) and is a Charitable Community Benefit Society (reference 30948R).
The Group operates in Staffordshire, Shropshire and Dudley.
In the course of their work, Housing Plus, South Staffordshire Housing Association and Care Plus collect personal information from individuals. This statement covers how we:
Process (that is collect, store and use) personal information that you provide to us
Comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998
Can let you know what information we have regarding you
Can be contacted for more information
What does it cover?
We collect personal information from you when you apply for a property with us and during the course of any tenancy or licence that you are granted. We also collect information from you when you complete surveys, questionnaires, feedback forms and participate in competitions.
The website and most of the services provided through the website can be accessed without you having to tell us who you are or providing any personally identifiable information. Any information entered into a form on the website or emailed to us may contain personal information which will be transmitted securely and treated in accordance with this Policy.
What do we use personal information for?
We collect and process personal information to allow us to allocate and manage homes and to improve services.
We may pass onto certain personal information to other organisations (such as local authorities, the Courts or the Police) where this is requested or we have a legal requirement to do so (such as during a criminal investigation, a court case, a safeguarding issue involving a child or a vulnerable adult or to report benefit fraud). In these circumstances we do not usually require your permission to pass on information.
We may use certain personal information for profiling or segmentation work to help us improve services and deliver them in a more targeted way (for example, we may use someone’s credit history to help manage arrears or offer money advice).
We may pass your contact details to contractors or suppliers to enable them to deliver services for us. For example, we may ask a research company to undertake a survey for us or provide details to a repairs contractor. We are clear with these contractors and suppliers that they must comply with data protection legislation and maintain confidentiality.
We will never sell your information to third parties.
How we keep your information secure
We keep the information you provide to us secure. Information kept on computer is protected by system security such as passwords and encryption. Systems are also backed up daily with copies kept securely off site. Information kept in a paper format is protected by secure storage in lockable filing cabinets etc.
Staff have data protection awareness training and access to various good practice guides and other advice to help them keep your information secure.
How we keep your information upto date
We may check what information we hold about you when you contact us. We also ask you to keep us upto date with any changes to your information and to complete regular audits to help us with this.
We only keep your information as long as we need it (this may be a minimum time set it in legislation or specific regulatory guidance) and have detailed guidance on this. When your information is no longer needed we dispose of it securely.
Access to your information
You have the right to request a copy of the information that we hold about you. The only exception to this is information (such as from a third party) that is considered exempt or confidential under data protection legislation.
If you want to see what information we hold about you, you can do this by putting your request in writing (please see How to contact us section for details). We will respond within 40 days and will make a £10.00 charge.
We want to make sure that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and upto date. You can ask us to correct or remove information that you think is not accurate.
Cookies are small programmes that we may place on your computer to collect standard internet information and preferences (such as text size and colour). They are also used to track visitor use of the website and provide statistical information. The cookie does not contain any personal information about you and only identifies your computer. It has a fixed expiry date of 30 days from when you visited the website and will not be available after this.
You can set your browser to not accept cookies, however this means that some website features may not work correctly or at all.
Where can I get more information?
Housing Plus has policies covering Data Protection, Confidentiality, Access to Personal Information, Use of Electronic Communications Systems and ICT Systems and Security. These policies are available on request.
For more information on data protection legislation and requirements you can also contact the Information Commissioners Office at www.ico.gov.uk or telephone 0303 123 1113.
How to contact us
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about this statement, information we hold about you or our overall approach to data protection and confidentiality.
You can contact us in the following ways:
freephone: 0800 096 8690
fax 01785 312100
write to The Data Controller, Housing Plus, Acton Court, Acton Gate, Stafford, ST18 9AP
Policy Last Reviewed: October 2014