Your data: Housing advice, homelessness and temporary accommodation
How we use your information
Aberdeen City Council collects information about you to establish if as a local authority we have a duty to offer you permanent accommodation, and to offer advice and assistance about your housing options. We also collect information to establish whether we will provide you with emergency accommodation outside of general working hours, as necessary.
The information you provide will be used for the following purposes:
- To determine and evidence your eligibility for housing from Aberdeen City Council’s housing lists.
- To determine and evidence your eligibility for housing with other councils and housing associations.
- To make enquiries into your current housing situation across Aberdeen City Council’s data systems.
- To determine your eligibility for assistance under homeless legislation.
- To make enquiries into your homelessness.
- To provide suitable temporary accommodation if/when required.
- To determine your housing needs, priority, and type of tenancy.
- To give you housing options advice.
- To assist and manage any allocation of suitable housing.
- To provide support to enable you to maintain your tenancy.
- To collect information about housing demand and your experience.
- To give you advice on your legal rights and responsibilities.
The information you provide regarding tenancies you hold or have held, will be shared with former or current landlords to check whether the previous or current tenancies were conducted satisfactorily and to verify your current circumstances.
To give advice about your current housing situation and to enable you to access to other services, we may also share your information (if required), with:
- Social work and health services to assist in determining housing need.
- NHS Grampian, if there is a child under school age living in the household, so that the child has access to a health visitor.
- All third sector agencies if you have also approached their services.
- Registered Social Landlords with whom you have applied for housing, or have received a nomination from us.
- Contracted providers of temporary accommodation(for example hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, and private landlords).
- Contracted providers of gas and electricity, if you are allocated housing in a temporary flat.
- Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, to allow you to access a free home check, or where you have reported issues relating to fire safety in your home.
- Letting agents and legal professionals who may have been dealing with you prior to your current situation.
- Current or former landlords where your tenancy details may affect your housing situation going forward.
- Family members who may be part of your current or former household.
- The Home Office to confirm the status of your visa in relation to accessing social housing.
- Police Scotland where you have reported criminal activity is affecting your living situation.
- Other local authorities if you have approached them for homeless assistance.
- The Department of Work and Pensions regarding any ongoing benefit claim relating to you or your household.
- Her Majesty’s Prison, if you are or have been in prison.
This is for the purpose of processing the Homeless Person Application.
You will be advised during your homeless assessment of organisations we require to contact.
Where we have a duty to provide you with accommodation and you wish to participate in the Furniture Leasing Scheme, we will collect your information to provide you with furniture, flooring and white goods for your tenancy. We will share the information you provide with The Furnishing Service and CAS Duncan for the purpose of delivering, installing and maintaining the furniture, flooring or white goods.
Where we have a duty to you, you may access our Furniture Storage Service for furniture removal and storage as part of the process of protecting your belongings. We will share the information you provide, including your names, contact details, address and items you wish to be stored with Instant Neighbour who are contracted to provide this service.
If it is determined that we have no duty to provide you with permanent accommodation, we wish to offer you advice and assistance in obtaining accommodation. We will use your information:
- To give you housing options advice.
- For the purpose securing accommodation.
- To assist you and provide you with support.
We may share your information with Turning Point Scotland and Aberdeen Cyrenians in order to use their Housing Support Services, if you do not wish your information to be passed to them, we will be unable to make a referral to provide you with their assistance.
From time to time we will ask for your feedback about the services we provide. You do not have to give us your name, address and contact details and can respond anonymously but if you don’t, we will not be able to get in touch with you to respond to your feedback.
The Council is obliged to participate in the National Fraud Initiative in Scotland and in terms of this passes information to Audit Scotland for data matching to detect fraud or possible fraud. Details of this exercise can be found on Audit Scotland’s website.
How long we keep your information for
Following your application, your information will be stored electronically. Your information will remain in our system while you are on a waiting list for Council housing.
If you are allocated a Council house your records will be kept securely and regularly updated during your tenancy with Aberdeen City Council. Your records will be kept securely for 7 more years from the close of your tenancy, or the last acknowledgement of debt, or the most recent contact with housing services, whichever is later.
If, for any reason, you are no longer on the waiting list for a house (for example, if you have alternative accommodation and no longer wish to be on the waiting list) we will retain your application information for a further 7 years from the time your name is taken off our waiting list.
If you respond to our requests for feedback we will keep this information for one month after the closing date of the consultation. We will keep the statistical information for longer but this will not identify you.
You have rights in relation to your data, including the right to ask for a copy of it. See the Your data page for more information about all the rights you have, as well as the contact details for the Council’s Data Protection Officer. You also have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office if you think we haven’t handled your data properly.
Our legal basis
Wherever the Council processes personal data, we need to make sure we have a legal basis for doing so in data protection law. The Council understands our legal basis for processing personal data in relation to your application as Article 6(1)(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation. This is because we have duties in relation to homelessness under the Housing (Scotland) Acts 1987 and 2001 and the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003. We also have duties under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 to assess care needs and make decisions about arranging services based on your preferences.
Where we collect personal information to provide housing options advice, we do this to meet our obligations under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001, s.2, which states that every local authority must secure that advice and information about:
(a) homelessness and the prevention of homelessness, and
(b) any services which may assist a homeless person or assist in the prevention of homelessness, is available free of charge to any person in the authority’s area.
Where we ask you for feedback about the services we provide the Council understands our legal basis for processing your data as Articles 6(1)(c) of the General Data Protection Regulation. This is because we are legally required to consult with our service users under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001.
In delivering our service, the Council may process special category personal data. The Council understands our legal basis for doing so as Article 9(2)(g) of the General Data Protection Regulation. This is because we consider that it is in the substantial public interest to fulfil our obligations that we have considered all relevant information when making decisions relating to your housing situation, we do this under the Housing (Scotland) Acts 1987 and 2001 and the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003.
Where we correspond with the Home Office about the status of your visa this is to comply with our duties under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 s118.
The Council has a legal obligation under Part 2A of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000, to provide Audit Scotland with data to carry out data matching exercises for the purpose of assisting in the prevention and detection of fraud.
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