Dudley Council’s Home Improvement Service is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy when you use our service.
We are responsible for helping our residents to apply for Disabled Facilities Grants, Housing Assistance Grants, adaptations in LA owned properties and to provide a range of services designed to help our residents remain warm, safe and independent in their own homes e.g. Winter Warmth and Energy Advice service.
This Privacy Notice explains how we use your information and how we protect your privacy in compliance with our legal obligations under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018. This notice applies to any activity involving our use of your personal data, for example, collecting, storing, sharing, and destroying.
We collect a range of information including some or all of the following:
- Name and address
- Telephone numbers and email address for yourself and/or your relatives or advocate
- Date of birth for all applicants and occupants
- Ethnic Origin
- National Insurance Numbers for all applicants
- Evidence of financial information to include: income, savings, capital investments, benefit payments
- Other occupants of the property who reside or intend to reside and their details
- Information about your current and previous housing circumstances e.g. mortgage, rent, equity, value
- Property ownership
- Tenancy information
- Landlord details
- Health and disability information
- Death certificate
- Invoices and quotes
- Details of all contact with you e.g. telephone calls, home visits etc.
Generally, you will have provided the information we hold about you via our application or enquiry forms. Where relevant we may also hold information provided by third parties (e.g. From social workers and health professionals, doctors and occupational therapists, Revenues and Benefits, Department for Work and Pensions etc.).
We use your data to:
- Enable us to carry out our statutory duties e.g. processing Disabled Facilities Grant applications
- Make decisions relating to the provision of grant and loan assistance
- Make decisions relating to requests for adaptations to LA properties
- Provide energy and winter warmth advice to residents and landlords in order to reduce fuel poverty and the risks caused from living in a cold home
- Refer you to selected partners for funding support / support interventions
- Produce statistics and reports for research and planning. Statistics are used in such a way that individuals or families cannot be identified from them
- Monitor, evaluate and review the quality of our services
- Comply with government department research and statistical returns
- Account for our decisions and investigate complaints
We intend to share information about you to third parties only where permitted or required by law as specified in this notice:
- Other Dudley Council departments e.g. Housing Services, Social Care, Complaints, Finance Department, Legal Services
- Third party / Service Delivery organisations who provide funding for works e.g. Foundations, Energy companies and installers
- Dudley’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
- Government departments e.g. Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs
- Debt Support Agencies
- Banks or organisations that lend money
- Social Housing providers
- Private Rental Landlords
- Estate Agents and/or Property Management companies
- Solicitors and other advocates
- Other services that provide assistance to help you stay warm, safe and independent in your home
- Contractors approved by the Council
- Selected energy companies and installers
Information provided to other services will be restricted to only the essential information required to enable them to carry out their work and statutory functions.
The legal bases for processing your personal information are:
- Compliance with our legal obligations (Article 6 (1) (c) of the GDPR)
- Tasks carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority (Article 6 (1) (e) and Article 9 (2)(g) for Special Category Data, of the GDPR supported by Schedule 1, Part 2, Section 16 (1) of the DPA 2018)
- Contract for the supply of services (Article 6 (1) (b) of the GDPR)
- Consent (Article 6 (1) (a) of the GDPR)
The Local Authority has a number of statutory duties placed upon it by law; further details of this can be obtained from the Council’s Corporate Privacy Notice available at this link:
However, typically for our processing purposes we will be relying on legal duties specified (but not limited to) Housing Grants Construction & Regeneration Act 1996 and any associated regulations, statutory guidance and codes of practice.
Where our processing of your personal information is not covered by legislation or a public task we will ask you for consent to process and share.
Whilst the majority of information provided to us is mandatory due to compliance with a legal obligation, some of it is provided to us on a voluntary basis. To comply with the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, we will inform you whether you are required by law to provide certain information to us; if you do have a choice to provide information that is not mandatory, your explicit consent will be requested. You do have the right to withdraw your consent if this is applicable to processing your data. If this is the case, we will let you know. A record is kept on how and when consent was obtained and details stored on the council’s secure database used by the Home Improvement Team.
The law gives you a number of rights to control what personal information is used by us and how it is used by us. For example you can ask:
- for access to the information we hold on you
- to change information you think is inaccurate
- to delete information (right to be forgotten)
- to limit what we use your personal data for
Information held electronically is stored on the council's servers or dedicated databases. These systems operate on secure networks and are password protected and only accessible to people who need access to them.
Photographic evidence is recorded on council mobile phones and on return to the office is downloaded direct on to a council computer using a USB cable and stored as above. Photographs are then deleted from the mobile phone.
Information held on paper is stored in offices that are subject to access controls. Where information is removed from the office for operational purposes the amount of this is minimised and staff are trained to ensure that this is kept secure at all times
Personal data in relation to the purposes for which they were collected will not be retained for longer than necessary.
- Information relating to completed Disabled Facilities Grants is retained for ten years following completion of the works
- Information relating to loans and repayable grants is retained for the duration of the loan/grant until the loan/grant sum is repaid in full. Upon repayment records are kept for a further two years in case of queries
- Information relating to non-repayable grants is retained for seven years following completion of the works
- Information relating to adaptations of LA properties is retained for seven years following completion of the works
- Information relating to other services provided is retained for three years unless specifically requested to destroy sooner