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Gateshead Home Choice (choice-based lettings) Privacy Notice

Who we are and what we do 

Gateshead Home Choice is the name of Gateshead Council's choice-based lettings service. Gateshead Council is the Data Controller (register number Z4824725) for the choice-based lettings system. Our choice-based lettings system allows you to: 

  • join our housing register  
  • bid for council homes  
  • bid for properties advertised by registered providers who use the system  

The service uses your data to assess your housing application and ensure you are allocated the correct category of housing need: 

  • critical housing need 
  • urgent housing need 
  • substantial housing need 
  • general housing needs 

Allocation to need categories will be made in accordance with the current lettings policy

We collect personal data when you apply to be on the housing register, bid for a property or are added to the shortlist, or otherwise use the system to contact us about your application. 

What type of information is collected about you  

We collect personal information to understand your needs and provide services. Information may include: 

  • name 
  • gender 
  • date of birth 
  • address 
  • contact number  
  • email address  
  • National Insurance Number 
  • photograph ID 
  • nationality  
  • address history 
  • if you have served in the armed forces and when you were discharged 
  • employment and financial information (including any state benefits you are receiving) your household income and any assets or savings over £50,000 
  • outstanding rent arrears, chargeable repairs or other housing related debt on your current or previous homes 

We will ask for the following special category/sensitive personal data: 

  • health/disability data - we need this information to identify the most appropriate housing options such as an adapted property or additional support needs or pregnancy  
  • ethnic origin and sexual orientation - we collect this information for equality monitoring purposes only to improve our services (you do not have to provide this information if you would prefer not to) 

We will also ask for details of unspent criminal convictions, prohibition or restriction orders applicable to you and any other breaches of tenancy conditions. 

We may obtain additional information from other third parties, such as a GPs, Police or the probation service, and we may not need your consent to do so. 

The choice-based lettings system also stores the following personal data about you: 

  • your bidding history 
  • all correspondence (emails/letters) between you and the service 
  • references from previous landlords 

If you have requested a review of an allocation decision the data listed above, as well as any other information you provide to us will used as part of that review.   

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 assess your application and allocate the correct category of housing need. 

How we collect information about you   

We collect information about you from various sources, including: 

  • through your application  
  • face to face 
  • by post   
  • by email  
  • by telephone 
  • through medical forms  
  • when we communicate with you via the home choice website  

We may also hold information provided by third parties where this is relevant to your housing circumstances (for example from health professionals and other landlords). 

Upon visiting our website, cookies are used to collect information about website usage. You can see more information on how we collection web usage information on our cookies page. 

Why we need your information  

Our purpose for collecting personal information is to enable us to: 

  • assess your housing application (or a review of a housing allocations decision)  
  • ensure you are allocated the correct category of housing need 

In accordance with the Lettings Policy, in some instances we will use your data to exclude you from the housing register or to have your application demoted.  

The lawful basis for our processing is: 

  • contract: you have or are looking to enter a contract (a tenancy agreement) with us for the provision of appropriate accommodation for you 
  • consent: You have given clear consent for us to process your personal data for a specific purpose 
  • legal obligation  

Legislation which sets out many of the tasks the service is required to undertake include: 

  • The Housing Act 1988, 1996, and 2004
  • The Homelessness Act 2002
  • Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 
  • The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 

For special category data, which is more sensitive, we process this data to ensure you are properly assessed and that we can match you to the most appropriate property to ensure that your needs are met. Our lawful basis for processing this data is: 

  • contract  
  • reasons of substantial public interest (with a basis in law)  

In relation to data relating to criminal convictions, we are authorised by law (in accordance with S10 and Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act. 

Who your information can be shared with  

Our Corporate Privacy notice explains information sharing the Council carries out. This sharing fulfils statutory obligations, legal requirements and service delivery. Gateshead Home Choice can share your information with: 

  • agencies involved with your housing application such as Citizens Advice or Shelter 
  • local authorities  
  • previous landlords - to obtain information to support your application 
  • quality and standards team who use your data to carry out an independent review if you are unhappy with decision in relation to your application, including medical priority, demotion/exclusion and overcrowding 

If we wish to share your information with other council services or third parties for purposes outside of those listed above we will ask your permission.   

To give you more choice when looking for the most appropriate housing, the following housing associations currently advertise their properties on our choice-based lettings system. These registered providers will have access to your housing application data if you bid on any of their properties via the Gateshead Home Choice service: 

  • Keelman Homes 
  • Accent Group  
  • Anchor Housing 
  • Bernicia 
  • Castles and Coasts 
  • Home Group 
  • Housing 21  
  • Johnnie Johnson 
  • Karbon Homes 
  • Places for People 
  • Railway Housing 
  • Riverside 

Data sharing agreements are in place with them to ensure they only use your data for the purpose it was intended, and it is kept no longer than necessary. 

We keep your information for as long as we need to provide services to you. We may also need to keep your information in accordance with legal or other obligations. Where we have no need to keep your data it will be securely destroyed. We keep a Record of Processing Activity (a requirement under the GDPR). This sets out the specific retention periods applicable in different circumstances. For more information please contact 0191 433 5345 or email

Where your information is held 

All personal data in relation to your housing application or properties that you have bid for is held on our choice-based letting system. The system is hosted on council servers.   

If you have submitted a review against an allocations decision, this data is held on Workflow 360, which is a document management system hosted by Civica. 

There will be occasions when we need information about a current or previous Council tenancy and this data is held on our housing management system, which is hosted by NEC. 

How you can update your information  

Our delivery of efficient services depends on the accuracy of your information. 

Please inform us of any changes to the following: 

  • email address 
  • personal circumstances 
  • postal address 
  • any of the other information we hold 

Please contact: 

Your information rights  

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.  

Marketing and e-newsletters  

Gateshead Council always acts upon your choices around what type of communications you want to receive and how you want to receive them. Where you have signed up for one of our newsletters, we use email newsletters to inform you of what we're doing, news and events. This includes our weekly home choice newsletter that provides you with details of Council and registered provider properties in Gateshead that are available to bid on that week. 

Tools may be used to help us improve the effectiveness of our communications with you, including tracking whether the emails we send are opened and which links are clicked within a message. This helps us to improve and refine future email marketing around our campaigns and make sure all our emails are relevant and useful as possible. 

You have a choice about whether or not you wish to receive marketing information from us. We will always ask for your permission or provide an opportunity to opt out. 

Business intelligence, profiling and automated-decision making  

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.  

Protecting your information  

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.   

Data Protection Officer  

Data Protection Officer  

Civic Centre  

Regent Street  


NE8 1HH  

0191 433 3000  

Information Commissioner's Office  

The Information Commissioner is the UK's independent body for upholding information rights. Visit their website to find out more about your rights under Data Protection law, and what to expect from us. 

For privacy practices or data protection rights concerns, contact the Information Commissioner's Office:  

Information Commissioner's Office 

Wycliffe House 

Water Lane 



SK9 5AF  

0303 123 1113 or 01625 545 745