Privacy policy relating to your data and this site

Privacy Notice

Westward Housing Group’s ('Westward') privacy notice sets out how we use and protect any information that we collect from you.

We are committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected, and that data is used in accordance with the data protection legislation in force in England and Wales.

If we ask you to provide information which can identify you, then we will only use it in accordance with this privacy notice. We may change this by updating it on our website. You should check this from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This notice is effective from 1 June 2017.

What we collect

We may collect information from you depending on the nature of your relationship with us, for example as a prospective or current housing applicant, resident or support services customer, or staff or board member. This may include:

  • Name and date of birth
  • Current address, previous address, and forwarding address
  • Telephone numbers and email addresses
  • Next of kin, marital status
  • Gender, disabilities, ethnicity, cultural or religious beliefs/ needs, sexual orientation
  • Health and care details
  • Employment details and welfare benefit entitlements
  • Anti-social behaviour, violence and criminal activities
  • Other agencies involved with your household
  • Risks to children or other people
  • Training and educational needs
  • Financial details
  • Bank or building society details
  • Responses to customer surveys demographic information such as preferences and interests
  • Other information relevant to surveys and/or competitions
  • Other information to enable us to provide you with services

Most of this information will be supplied by you directly with your consent, although we may sometimes receive information from outside agencies.
We will only require you to supply personal information that is necessary to supply the service or carry out the transaction you have requested, and we will label this with an asterisk (*).
Other information requested, without an asterisk, will be optional but if you do provide this information to us, it will still be used in accordance with the law and this Privacy Notice.

What we do with the information we gather

We may use the information you give us:

  • to provide a service that you request or to perform a contract to which you are party, for example, a tenancy agreement
  • to understand your needs and provide you with a better service
  • for internal record keeping
  • to improve our products and services
  • to occasionally send you promotional emails about new products, special offers or other information which we think you may find interesting
  • to occasionally contact you (by email, phone, fax or mail) for market research purposes
  • to customise the website according to your interests
  • to comply with our legal obligations

How long we keep your information

We shall only store your information for as long as is reasonably necessary for us to fulfil the purposes set out in this guide, or for a maximum of six years after you cease to have a relationship with us or if we are in dispute with you until legal proceedings have ended, whichever is longer. We will review the information we hold every three years. We will then securely dispose of your information.

Controlling your personal information

You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information in the following ways:

  • whenever you are asked to fill in a form, look for the information that is marked with an asterisk (*), and only supply this essential information, leaving optional fields blank
  • if you have previously agreed to us contacting you for customer surveying, marketing or resident involvement purposes, you may change your mind at any time by writing to or emailing us

However, if you do not provide us with the information we require, we may be unable to provide you with the services you have requested.
You may request details of the personal information we hold about you under the Data Protection Act 1998, this is known as a subject access request. If you would like a copy of your personal information, please write to Westward, enclosing the required £10 fee and giving us details of the data you require. Please note that some proof of identification may be required when making the request and Westward will then have 40 calendar days in which to respond.
If you have a request regarding the data we hold about you or believe that any information we are holding about you is incorrect or incomplete please email the Group Data Protection Officer (GDPO) (email below) as soon as possible. We will promptly correct any information found to be incorrect.

'My Account' registration

If you have a ‘My Account’ registration you are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your Person ID number and password, and you agree not to transfer your use of any password to any other person.
Any information we hold about you will be used to:

  • respond to your interest in our services
  • respond to any enquiries you make
  • keep you updated with the latest news, products and services of Westward

The easiest way to update your personal information is for you to edit what we hold in your own Westward website MyAccount at www.westwardhousing.org.uk/myaccount
If you have any concerns please email the Group Data Protection Officer (GDPO).

Sharing your information

We will only share your information where we are legally entitled to do so, for example:

  • to comply with the law (e.g. police, inland revenue)
  • to seek legal advice or in connection with court proceedings or statutory action to enforce compliance with tenancy conditions
  • where there is a clear health and safety risk
  • child protection and safeguarding issues
  • where there is a clear risk to yourself, staff and others
  • to provide you with the services you require

We may therefore share your information with third parties from time to time such as:

  • the Police
  • HMRC
  • Local Authorities, the NHS and Primary Care trusts
  • Partner landlords
  • Legal advisors, the courts and our insurers and auditors
  • Health professionals
  • Contractors providing maintenance and other housing related services
  • Consultants providing services to us
  • Utility and telephone companies
  • Supporting People administrative authorities
  • Our regulator, the Homes and Communities Agency
  • Credit checking agencies and debt recovery agents
  • Charities and voluntary organisations and our support partners

Use of cookies on our website

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.
Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit www.allaboutcookies.org.

Google Analytics

These cookies are used to collect anonymous information about how visitors use our websites. Like many organisations, we use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited. Click here for an overview of privacy at Google.
To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit: http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout

Links to other websites

Our website contains links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.

Third-party content within our website

From time to time, we may embed external content from third-party websites, for example Twitter or YouTube, within our websites. These external websites may utilise cookies and the privacy policy that will apply to such third-party content will be that published on the website of that third-party content provider.

Call recording

Please be aware that calls to and from Westward are recorded to assist our continuous improvement and training. Recordings of calls may be used:

  • for staff training to develop the confidence and potential of staff
  • to check and measure whether we meet standards agreed with customers
  • for use in appraisals with staff to develop better customer service
  • as evidence where there are disputes
  • as evidence in investigations concerning either our customers or staff
  • to resolve complaints regarding abusive telephone calls involving either our customers or staff

Telephone conversations are kept for up to 12 months. Recorded calls that are deemed abusive or threatening are kept until any investigation action is completed.

Access to call recordings is through sampling apart from training purposes or when abusive or threatening behaviour has occurred or a complaint has been made and requires investigation. Access to these types of calls requires authorisation by the Chief Executive or Executive Director of Organisation and Workforce.

CCTV

CCTV systems are installed across Westward schemes and are for crime prevention and safety purposes only. Clearly visible and readable notices are provided where CCTV is used.

CCTV images can be shared with lawyers, police and other agencies/parties working to prevent and/or investigate crime, public safety and anti-social behaviour.

CCTV images are retained for up to 12 months or, where applicable, until enforcement action is completed, after which they are over-written.

Security

We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect and process.

Making complaints to us

If you believe that Westward has not handled your information correctly you have the right to make a complaint to:
Group Data Protection Officer (GDPO) Email: dataprotection@westwardhousing.org.uk
or
Westward Housing Group, Templar House, Collett Way, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 4PH
You can also contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO):
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number.
This privacy notice was drafted with brevity and clarity in mind. It does not provide exhaustive detail of all aspects of Westward’s collection and use of personal information. However, we are happy to provide any additional information or explanation needed. Any requests should be sent to the GDPO.
If you or someone you know would like this information on CD, in large print, braille, or translated into another language, please contact our Communications Team on 0300 303 8530 or email info@westwardhousing.org.uk

Data Protection

In using the Westward website, you consent to the collection and use of information, and cookies by both us and our business partners as detailed in our privacy notice. In accordance with Data Protection legislation, no data will be transferred outside of the EU.

Choice of Law

These terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law. By using this website you hereby agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

Westward Housing Group incorporates

Westward Housing Group Ltd (an exempt charity and Community Benefit Society 7350). Registered office: Templar House, Collett Way, Newton Abbot TQ12 4PH. Also at Tarka House, Clovelly Road Industrial Estate, Bideford EX39 3HN. Website: www.westwardhousing.org.uk Email: info@westwardhousing.org.uk. Tel: 0300 100 1011 and fax: 01626 355137.
Help to Buy South West managed by Westward Housing Group Ltd and Sovereign Housing Association Ltd in partnership. Website: www.helptobuysw.org.uk
New Horizon Homes Ltd (trading as Horizon Homes) (Company registered in England and Wales No. 7625039). Registered office: Templar House, Collett Way, Newton Abbot TQ12 4PH. Tel: 01803 219090. Website www.horizonhomes.co.uk Email: info@horizonhomes.co.uk