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Social housing organisations report: areas to improve, but also some good practice


A report published by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) today has highlighted areas where social housing organisations should improve their compliance with the Data Protection Act.

The report is a summary of nine advisory visits and four audits carried out across the UK over the past three years. The visits found that organisations need to improve their policies and procedures regarding data sharing, data retention and homeworking. But the report also found good practice in areas such as encryption and the physical security of office buildings. Other improvements were also suggested in relation to secure printing and maintaining a records inventory.

Announcing the publication of the report John-Pierre Lamb, ICO Group Manager in the Good Practice team, said:

“Over 2 million people live in social housing organisation accommodation, many of them from vulnerable groups such as the disabled and the elderly. Social housing organisations have to handle vast amounts of sensitive personal information so it is critical they understand their responsibilities under the Data Protection Act.

“Our report uncovered areas where the sector needs to improve, including data sharing and retention, but also areas where good practice was evident such as physical security. Clear policies and procedures along with appropriate training and high staff awareness are the cornerstones of good data protection and will help prevent future breaches.”

View the findings from ICO advisory visits to social housing organisations


Find out about how to request an advisory visit and view our other outcomes reports

Learn more about data sharing

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