Housing Services

What we do

We provide housing related advice, support and assistance to people in housing need, and to prevent homelessness. We also manage the housing register, including nominations to registered providers, approval of mutual exchanges and for the procurement of private sector properties to meet urgent housing needs.

There are specialist teams covering the management of temporary accommodation and teams supporting families, young people, people with mental health issues, single people, substance misuse and ex-offenders.

Our home improvement service is responsible for the provision of major adaptations (public and private sector), for older and vulnerable owner-occupiers and the provision of grants and loans to landlords.

We help residents sustain their tenancies, collect rent and leaseholder charges whilst supporting the Council's social mobility strategy by assisting on matters of welfare reform and Universal Credit.

We maintain and improve our housing stock, ensuring that all tenanted and leased properties meet the Greenwich Homes Standard, keeping people safe in their homes by carrying out annual gas safety inspections, fire risk assessments and checks for legionella and asbestos.

We install smart devices in our housing stock and on the housing assets we own and manage, such as boilers and fire alarms. We use smart devices to collect data on housing assets such as boilers and the address of the asset, in order to ensure they are performing to standard, and to notify us of any issues such as a boiler breakdown.

We process Right to Buy applications (RTB). We investigate and take action on all reports of sub-letting and tenancy fraud as well monitoring RTB applications for potential fraud.

We provide statutory engagement and non-statutory opportunities for tenants and leaseholders in order to allow our residents to feedback on and help shape services.

Why we need your information and how we use it

Personal data can include information supplied to us such as names, addresses and health information on an official form, either online or in paper form and recording and retaining the calls customers make to a call centre.

The processing of this information is necessary for compliance with our legal obligations primarily under housing and homelessness legislation.

We will only use your personal information to administer your housing account and to provide services you have requested from us.

We process information for the purpose of, or in connection with legal proceedings (including prospective legal proceedings).

We share your information with other Council departments or third party / service delivery partners who deliver these services on our behalf.

The Homes and Communities Agency 'Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Standard (2017) provides that the Council as a registered provider of housing will ensure that residents are given a wide range of opportunities to influence and be involved in areas such as service delivery and the management of their homes. Specifically, registered providers should 'demonstrate how they respond to residents' needs in the way they provide services and communicate with residents'.

Where we have installed smart devices in our stock and on housing assets we own and manage, we use these smart devices to collect data on the performance of housing assets such as boilers and the address of the asset. This data is processed by third parties who deliver this service on our behalf.

Safeguarding

See our data protection privacy notice for more on how we may use data to help safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people and to protect adults at risk from abuse. 

What is our power to obtain and use personal data?

The processing of your information is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation primarily under the Housing Act 1988, 1996, and 2004, the Homelessness Act 2002 and the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.   In some cases, you can refuse to provide your details if you deem a request to be inappropriate.  However, you should note that this may impact on our ability to provide some services to you.

Personal information which you supply to us and information about other household members may be used in a number of ways, for example:

  • to make housing decisions
  • for fraud prevention
  • for audit and debt collection
  • for statistical analysis
  • To consult with you and your household and to gather your input/feedback

When you provide information about household members we assume that you do so with their full knowledge and consent.

What type of information we collect

Generally, the information we hold will have been provided by you on application or enquiry forms or when we communicate with you. However, we may also hold information provided by third parties where this is relevant to your housing circumstances. For example, from social workers and health professionals, doctors and occupational therapists.

We will only ask for personal information that is appropriate to enable us to deliver our services.

We keep financial records about the amount of money you have paid us, any amounts outstanding and action taken to recover money you owe to the Council.

We will request and hold your income information to assist you with paying your rent and the name and address of your employer if we need an attachment of earning or to take deduction from your wages if you are in rent arrears.

We hold names and dates of birth, national insurance numbers, photographic ID and information about your current and previous housing circumstances to assess housing applications and help prevent tenancy fraud and illegal subletting.

We will take a photograph of you at sign-up so we can identify you, for the prevention of fraud and subletting.

We hold contact details for you so we can communicate with you, by text message, email or letter and to keep you informed about other services we offer which may be useful to you.

We hold contact details for you so that we can communicate with you regarding statutory engagement opportunities to feedback on and help shape services.

We hold information such as age and ethnicity in order for us to monitor equality and diversity, and to ensure representative engagement.

We also hold details of emergency contact information for you, to ensure we can contact someone if we have concerns for your safety.

We record information about your needs and requirements to ensure our services are accessible; that we take account of any support needs in our dealings with you; and to improve our communications with you.

We record information to assist us in delivering housing management services including reports of antisocial behaviour; complaints; change in circumstances.

We may hold recordings of your telephone calls to us, as some calls to our contact centre are recorded for training and monitoring purposes so we can ensure we are delivering a good service. Any recordings will be held in accordance with our corporate retention policy before being erased.

We may capture your image on our CCTV systems if you visit an estate, office or community facility, which is covered by this facility. Any recordings will be held in accordance with our corporate retention policy before being erased. This data may be shared with the Police in relation to the prevention or detection of crime or fraud.

We may carry out market research and customer satisfaction surveys to help us to monitor our performance and to improve our services to our customers.

We may carry out credit referencing agency checks to confirm residency and for the prevention and detection of fraud.

We are committed to keeping your personal details up to date, and we encourage you to inform us about any changes needed to ensure your details are accurate.

Where we have installed smart devices in our stock and on housing assets we own and manage, we use these smart devices to collect data on the performance of housing assets such as boilers and the address of the asset, in order to ensure they are performing to standard, and to notify us of any issues such as a boiler breakdown.

Who we may share your information with

Where necessary or required, we may share your personal information with the following parties:

  • contractors, in order to undertake repairs, maintenance or improvement works
  • third party service providers, in connection with services performed on our behalf. For example, if we use a research company to carry out a resident satisfaction survey or if we use a mailing house to distribute our newsletters
  • landlords, housing associations and trusts, in connection with tenancy references and associated enquiries
  • people included on your housing application, for the processing / decision making / allocation of accommodation purposes
  • community partners in connection with the delivery of coordinated local services
  • utility companies (and their representatives) and the Council Tax team, to ensure billing details are correct
  • credit reference agencies and debt collection agencies, in connection with some housing applications and in relation to any outstanding charges, and to investigate or detect tenancy fraud or sub-letting. We may also use information including personal information to prevent and detect fraud in any of our systems and may supply information to credit reference agencies or other external bodies for such purposes
  • local authorities and government departments, including Cifas, as necessary for administering justice, or for exercising statutory, governmental, or other public functions
  • Police and other relevant authorities (for example, Probation Service, Department of Work and Pensions, HM Revenues and Customs) in relation to the prevention or detection of crime and fraud, the apprehension or prosecution of offenders and the assessment or collection of tax or duty. For the purposes of law enforcement, regulation and licensing, criminal or civil prosecutions and court proceedings
  • other statutory organisations, for example, social services and health authorities, as necessary for exercising statutory functions
  • external mailing companies for our bulk mailing activities
  • departments and contractors who assist the Council in carrying out its statutory housing responsibilities
  • we may share information you have provided, and obtain information about you from other Council departments such as Benefits or Planning where held and only as appropriate.
  • We may share anonymised information about your rent account, tenancy and circumstances with other councils, government and public agencies to inform research and reviews.

This list is not exhaustive as there are other circumstances where we may also be required to share information, for example, in order to meet our legal obligations.

Where we have installed smart devices in our stock and on housing assets we own and manage, we may share information with third party service providers who provide services on our behalf, this is in relation to the collection and processing of data on the performance of housing assets such as boilers and the address of the asset.

How long we keep your information

If you move, and are no longer a resident we will usually keep records about you for up to six years.

Records on asbestos and pest control will be held for 40 years.

Where we are have installed smart devices in our stock and on housing assets we own and manage, records of the non-personal data on the performance of housing assets such as boilers and the address of the asset will be kept for the lifetime of the property

Your rights
Version date
September 2019