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Privacy notice for Housing Options (including Homelessness)

When you contact us about your housing options, homelessness, threatened homelessness or the Housing Register we will ask you for your personal details and the personal details of your household.

Please read this privacy notice. It explains what happens to your information.

Data Controller

Allerdale Borough Council is registered as a Data Controller with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). Our registration number is Z5680850. 

Why we collect your personal data (legal basis for processing)

We will collect enough personal information to:

  • assess your situation
  • provide advice, guidance and assistance to you around your housing situation
  • provide support to those threatened with homelessness and living in temporary accommodation
  • make referrals to third parties and / or other agencies that may be able to help you.

We are not permitted to collect information we do not need or will not use. This document covers information you have provided direct to the Council and information which has been shared with us by other organisations.

Information from other sources

We may also gather personal information about you and your household from other sources.  Examples include:

  • private sector landlords, housing associations, lettings agents
  • mortgage lenders
  • health services
  • children, family and adult services
  • education services
  • Department of Work and Pensions, Housing Benefit and Council Tax services
  • the Police, prisons, probation and youth offending services
  • Citizens Advice and voluntary sector organisations.

Legal basis for using your information

  • Housing Act 1996 Parts 6 & 7 (as amended)
  • Homelessness Act 2002
  • Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.

Under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) the legal basis for processing is:

  • Article 6(1)(a) – you, or your legal representative, have given consent
  • Article 6(1)(c) – processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the Council is subject
  • Article 6(1)(e) – processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority.

Our services may also need to use sensitive personal data called ‘special category data’ which requires more protection to keep it safe. This includes:

  • Sexuality or sexual heath
  • Religious or spiritual or philosophical beliefs
  • Ethnicity
  • Physical or mental health
  • Trade union membership
  • Political opinion
  • Genetic or biometric data
  • Criminal history

We will take extra care of this data. The legal reasons for us to collect and use this personal information are:

  • Article 9(2)(a) - you, or your legal representative, have given explicit consent;
  • Article 9(2)(c) – processing is necessary to protect either your or someone else’s vital interests (i.e. to protect someone in an emergency)
  • Article 9(2)(g) – processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest 
  • Article 9(2)(j) – processing is necessary for archiving, research or statistical purposes.

Who we may share your data with

The third parties and/or other agencies that we may refer you to will depend on your personal situation, but may include:

  • Social services and related agencies
  • NHS medical professionals
  • Your doctor or associated doctor's surgery staff
  • Housing associations
  • Other departments within Allerdale Borough Council
  • Citizens' Advice
  • Police
  • Probation
  • Supported accommodation providers.

Your information will not be disclosed to any other organisations, except where we are required and allowed to by law.  

Contact during ‘Out of hours’

The Housing Options team operates an ‘out of hours’ service for those that are street homeless that night with a Local Connection to Allerdale. Information may be shared in order to assess homelessness and to do a risk assessment if there is a duty to provide emergency accommodation.  

Consent and complying with the law

We will always ask for your consent to share your personal information unless it proves necessary to share it without your permission, e.g. for the detection or prevention of crime or if sharing would help with a safeguarding issue. Please be assured that the Council will never sell your information to anyone else.
Sometimes third parties may request information on your behalf. In order to ensure that we are compliant with data protection legislation we will not pass on any information unless we are provided with written evidence confirming that they are entitled to act for you. 

Homelessness data for research

We will share data with the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government to evaluate and research homelessness on a national scale.  

Transferring your data outside the UK or European Union

We will not transfer the personal data you have provided outside of the UK or European Union, unless this is permitted in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018.

How long we keep personal data

We will keep the personal data you have supplied for six years after your housing situation has been resolved and you have not contacted us again in relation to housing or homelessness.

Automated decision making

We will not use the personal data you provide to make any automated decisions.

Your rights as a data subject

The law gives you specific rights over your information. These rights are: 

  • to be informed of our use of information about you
  • of access to information about you
  • rectify information about you that is inaccurate
  • to have your information erased (the ‘right to be forgotten’) 
  • to restrict how we use information about you
  • to move your information to a new service provider
  • to object to how we use information about you
  • not to have decisions made about you on the basis of automated decision making
  • to object to direct marketing
  • to complain about anything the Council does with your information (please see the ‘Complaints’ section below). 

Some of the rights listed above apply only in certain situations, and some have a limited effect. Your rights are explained further in the in the Individuals’ Rights section of our website. 

Changes to this privacy notice

This notice is kept under regular review to make sure it is up to date and accurate.

Data Protection Officer (DPO)

The Council is required by law to have a DPO. The DPO has a number of duties, including: 

  • monitoring the Council’s compliance with data protection law
  • providing advice and guidance on data protection
  • acting as the point of contact for data subjects
  • co-operating and consulting with the Information Commissioner’s Office (see ‘Complaints’ below). 

Our DPO makes sure we respect your rights and follow the law. If you have any concerns or questions about how we look after your personal information, please email the Data Protection Officer at


If we have been unable to resolve your complaint, you can also refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The ICO is the UK's independent body set up to uphold information rights, and they can investigate and adjudicate on any data protection related concerns you raise with them.

They can be contacted via the methods below: 

Telephone: 0303 123 1113 
Post: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF