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Evaluation of support given to rough sleepers during and after the COVID-19 spring lockdown

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is undertaking an evaluation of the support provided to people sleeping rough or at risk of sleeping rough during and after the COVID-19 Spring lockdown. MHCLG is responsible for housing in England.

MHCLG are commissioning an independent research organisation, Kantar, to carry out the research.

What is this research?

MHCLG would like to find out how well services work for people who were homeless or sleeping rough in ending homelessness and rough sleeping for them.

For this, MHCLG want the researchers to collect information directly from people who have received support, about their history, and experiences of homelessness and housing. This will be done through telephone interviews.

What personal information is being shared?

Stevenage Borough Council will share your personal information with so that they can contact you and invite you to take part in an interview. This information will include your name, date of birth and contact details, such as address, email address and telephone numbers (where these are held).

Information on your nationality or preferred language (if this is not English) will also be shared so the researchers know which language to contact you in and whether you might need to do the interview in a different language. They will use your mobile number to get in touch with you if you have one.

If you decide to take part in an interview, you will receive a £10 voucher as a thank you.

In the interview you will be asked for more personal information, such as your gender and your ethnicity, whether you have spent time in prison or in hospital and whether you have any health related support needs. It will be up to you whether you answer these questions.

Any information you provide during the interview will be kept strictly confidential, unless a researcher thinks that you or someone else is at risk of harm.

If you agree to do the first interview, you will also be asked if you agree to being contacted again in the future for further interviews If you are happy to be contacted again, you will receive a voucher for each follow up interview you do. You will also be asked if you agree for your personal information to be shared so that your interview answers can be included in another research project.

Why are the council and MHCLG able to use my personal information for this research?

Your personal information can only be used by the council and MHCLG if it is done in a way that fits with the law.

MHCLG is able to use your personal information for the research because the research is expected to help the government make better decisions about homelessness and rough sleeping services in the future. The law states that personal information can be used if it is in the public interest to do so. MHCLG believes that it is in the interests of the public for this research to be carried out.

The council is able share your personal information to help with this research as it will assist the council to better support individuals who are experiencing homelessness or at risk from homelessness, which is an issue of substantial public interest and will provide valuable insights as to how the council can provide improved provisions to those in need.

The law also states that extra care has to be taken with personal information that is more sensitive.

As some of the data that is going to be collected is sensitive, extra care will be taken to make sure your information is held securely and kept in accordance with the law.

Your personal information (names, dates of birth, addresses) will not be kept longer than needed for the research and it will only be used for research. Your personal information will be deleted by March 2023 at the latest, if you agree to do interviews, and within 1 month if you tell researchers you don’t want to take part or if you are not or cannot be contacted.

What are my rights?

If you are unhappy with how your personal information is handled, you can complain about this matter to the Independent Information Commissioner. You can contact the Independent Information Commissioner at:

  • Via their website
  • helpline number 0303 123 1113
  • Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

You also have the right to object to the use of your personal information, the right to see your personal information (name, address etc) and the right for it to be changed if it is wrong, by contacting MHCLG’s Data Protection Officer at dataprotection@communities.gov.uk or at the below postal address:

MHCLG Data Protection Officer, 2 Marsham St, Westminster, London SW1P 4DF

Where can I get more information?

If you would like further information about the research, please speak to your project worker or call 01438 242242 for more detailed information.