Gateway to Homechoice – Privacy Notice

Gateway to Homechoice is committed to protecting your privacy when you use our service. The Privacy Notice below explains how we use information about you and how we protect your privacy.

What is Personal Information?

Personal information can be anything that identifies and relates to a living person. This can include information that when put together with other information can then identify a person. We collect the following types of personal information on the Gateway to Homechoice system:

  • Date of birth

  • Current address and six years of address history

  • Current property type and landlord details

  • Phone number and email address

  • National insurance number

  • Details of your local connection to the Gateway area

  • Financial details

  • Armed forces service (where applicable)

  • Your internet protocol (IP) address

Why do we need your personal information?

We may need to use some information about you to:

  • Assess, maintain and update your housing register application;

  • Manage the services we provide to you;

  • Train and manage the employment of our workers and those who deliver those services;

  • Help investigate any worries or complaints you have about this service; and

  • Check the quality of services.

Personal Sensitive Information

We also collect sensitive personal data, including the following:

  • Ethnic origin

  • Religious beliefs

  • Health

The reason that we collect ethnic origin and religious belief is so that we can monitor that the scheme is compliant with equality and diversity legislation and we ask for health information where housing may be having an impact on health – e.g. someone who is unable to use stairs but currently lives in a house/top floor flat.

Lawful basis for processing personal data under Article 6 GDPR

Processing your data is necessary as we have a legal obligation to process applications to meet the legal requirements for the allocation of housing as set out in the Housing Act 1996 Part VI as amended by the Homeless Act (2002), the Localism Act 2011 and the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.

We need to collect your personal information as each local housing authority has a legal duty to maintain an allocations scheme and Gateway to Homechoice is this scheme for the following local authorities:

  1. Babergh District Council

  2. Braintree District Council

  3. Colchester Borough Council

  4. East Suffolk Council

  5. Ipswich Borough Council

  6. Maldon District Council

  7. Mid Suffolk District Council

How can you access the information we hold about you?

You can see some of the information that we hold about you by logging into your Gateway account.  However, you also have the right to ask for all the information we have about you and your housing needs. When we receive a request from you in writing, we must normally give you access to everything we have recorded about you. However, we will not let you see any parts of your record which contain:

  1. Confidential information about other people

  2. Information a care professional thinks will cause serious harm to your or someone else’s physical or mental wellbeing; or

  3. Information that could obstruct a criminal investigation if it were disclosed to you.

How can you request correction of inaccurate information?

You should let us know if you disagree with something in your housing register application; you can do this by logging into your Gateway account and amending the incorrect information.

If there is information that you are unable to change or remove yourself, you should let us know and we will correct factual inaccuracies.

We also ask you to renew your Gateway application once a year so you can also update or amend your information during the renewal process.

How do we keep information secure?

We will take appropriate steps to make sure that we only hold records about you (on paper and electronically) in a secure way, and we will only make them available to those who have a right to them.

We hold your personal information on a secure system which has:

  • Access controls

  • Security training for all staff

How long do we keep your personal information?

We will keep your personal information while you have an active housing register application and for seven years after it has been closed. After this time, your personal information will be deleted from our system.

Who will we share your personal information with?

We will share your personal information with the following:

Housing providers – if you have bid on one of our partner housing provider’s properties and they are considering you for one of their properties, we will share your personal information with them.

For a full list of our housing providers, please click here.

We will also usually ask for further information about you from the following organisations, if it is relevant to your application for housing:

  • Current landlord – we will ask your current landlord for a reference

  • Previous landlords

  • GP or other healthcare professional

  • Mental health worker and/or psychiatrist

  • Probation/Youth Offending Team

  • Police

  • Social care/social worker

  • Floating support worker

  • Other support workers

  • Current and/or previous employers

We might also share your personal information with the other local authorities within the Gateway if you want to move from one Gateway local authority area to another.

Where can I get advice?

If you would like further information or if you have any concerns about how Gateway to Homechoice is handling your personal data, these can be raised with the relevant local authority Data Protection Officer:

Babergh District Council – Email:

Write to: Data Protection Team, Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils, Endeavour House, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich IP1 2BX

Braintree District Council – Email:

Write to: Data Protection Officer, Braintree District Council, Causeway House, Bocking End, Braintree, Essex, CM7 9HB

Colchester Borough Council - Email:

Write to: Information Services, Colchester Borough Council, Rowan House, 33 Sheepen Road, Colchester, CO3 3WG.

East Suffolk Council - Email:

Write to: Head of Internal Audit, East Suffolk Council, Riverside, 4 Canning Road, Lowestoft, NR33 0EQ

Ipswich Borough Council – Email:

Write to: Data Protection Officer, Ipswich Borough Council, Grafton House, 15-17 Russell Road, Ipswich, IP1 2DE

Maldon District Council – Email:

Write to: Data Protection Officer, Maldon District Council, Council Offices, Princes Road, Maldon, Essex, CM9 5DL

Mid Suffolk District Council: Email:

Write to: Data Protection Team, Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils, Endeavour House, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich IP1 2BX

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) at:

Information Commissioner's Office, 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.  Alternatively, visit or email

Website cookies

To make this site simpler, we sometimes place small data files on your computer. These are known as cookies. Most big websites do this too. They improve things by:

  • remembering settings, so you don't have to keep re-entering them whenever you visit a new page

  • remembering information you've given (eg your postcode) so you don't need to keep entering it

  • measuring how you use the website so we can make sure it meets your needs.

By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.   We do not use cookies on our main website that collect information about your browsing habits in order to make advertising relevant to you and your interests.

Our cookies aren't used to identify you personally. They're just here to make the site work better for you. Indeed, you can manage and/or delete these small files as you wish.

For further information please visit:

Measuring website usage (Google Analytics)

We use Google Analytics to collect information about how people use this site. We do this to make sure it's meeting its users' needs and to understand how we could do it better.

Google Analytics stores information about what pages you visit, how long you are on the site, how you got here and what you click on. We do not collect or store your personal information (e.g. your name or address) so this information cannot be used to identify who you are.

We also collect information on the number of times particular search terms are used and the number of failed searches. We use this information to improve access to the site and to identify gaps in the information content so we can plan appropriate expansion of the system. Unless the law allows us to, we do not:

  • share any of the information we collect about you with others

  • use this information to identify individuals.

Third party cookies

We have videos which are on YouTube. YouTube will place cookies on your device when watching or viewing these pages. Below is the link to their cookie policy: 

Disabling cookies

You can stop cookies being downloaded on to your computer or other device by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser. If you do this, however, you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website.

There is more information about how to delete or stop using cookies at If you wish, you can also opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics.

Further information on the use of personal information can be found at

Updates to this privacy notice

Gateway to Homechoice will continually review and update this privacy notice to reflect changes in our services and feedback from service users, as well as to comply with changes in the law. When such changes occur, we will revise the "last updated" date at the bottom of this notice. We encourage you to periodically visit the Gateway to Homechoice web site to review this notice and to be informed of how Gateway to Homechoice is protecting your information.

The privacy notice was last updated on 01/04/2019.