Household Surveys from arc⁴

Privacy, Data Protection and Freedom of Information

Completing the survey is not a legal requirement. It is a voluntary act on your part to help inform future housing policy and development in the study area. You can decide whether or not to complete the survey; and you can decide how much or how little of it you wish to complete.


The purposes for which the client and arc4 are processing your personal data are:

  • To understand key characteristics of households being surveyed, including age, relationships, household types, health and broad income affordability measures.
  • To understand household needs and aspirations with regard to housing and aspects of housing requirements.
  • To develop an evidence base for use in need and demand analysis and modelling across the study area.
  • To understand household choices and decision making when considering housing (historic, current and future for both the core household and newly forming households).

Categories of personal data

The client and arc4 will process the following personal data:

  • Your responses to the questions asked in the housing survey including the ID number and your postcode.

This includes any responses given to:

  • Questions about your housing situation; and
  • Demographic questions that ask about your personal characteristics (including: age, health status, sexual orientation, religion, gender and ethnicity) and job details.

Only a small number of people in arc4 will have access to individual-level data collected during the survey – no names or street addresses will be retained in the data, only the full postcode which we use to ensure that we can get a broad idea of where in the study area respondents live.

Postcode-level data are analysed and combined with other survey responses in order to produce combined survey results at geographic sub-area levels that we agree with our clients.

Postcode level data will not be published in the final report and will not be made available to the client unless we have said this is the case in the letter and/or survey questionnaire. Postcode level data will only be accessible by arc4 staff and PHL who process the returned forms on behalf of arc4.

Legal basis of processing

The processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. The housing survey is an essential element of the assessment which will help the client to understand and meet potential future housing provision in the study area.

In terms of ‘Special Category Data’ collected e.g. information about your health and your ethnicity, the legal basis for processing is that it is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest for the exercise of a public function.

Information sharing/recipients

Survey data will only be used by arc4 for the purpose of the specific project – it will never be passed on, or sold to, anyone for any other purpose. arc4 uses a subcontractor (PHL) to scan survey responses received by post.


All paper survey responses will be securely destroyed by arc4/PHL six months after completion of the research exercise or at a time indicated in the survey letter.

Anonymised electronic survey data will be kept on encrypted archive with all postcodes removed once the reporting and project is completed. We retain the postcode data separately to ensure that the survey responses have no small area identifier such as a postcode linked to them; also, so that if the sub-areas we are reporting to change in the future we can geographically recode the survey data from the postcode. Postcodes are used for no other purpose or reason.

Your rights

Where you wish to exercise one of your rights the client/arc4 will need to be able to identify your individual response to be able to comply. We use an ID number in all of our survey work for this key purpose.

The ID number is also used for location coding so when we know your postcode we code it to one of the appropriate sub-areas agreed with the client. Once we have carried out this coding we no longer need to retain the postcode alongside your responses – this is how the response data will be stored for the retention period – the only identifier will be the ID number. ID number and postcode are retained in a separate secure file for any potential re-coding of geographic sub-area in the future or at the reporting stage.

It is important that you retain a copy of the letter you received so that if you want to exercise your rights listed below we can identify your response and amend/remove it as required. Please retain your ID number for any future reference.

You have the right to:

  • Request information about how your personal data are processed, and to request a copy of that personal data.
  • Request that any inaccuracies in your personal data are rectified without delay.
  • Request that any incomplete personal data are completed, including by means of a supplementary statement.
  • Request that your personal data are erased if there is no longer a justification for them to be processed.
  • In certain circumstances (for example, where accuracy is contested) to request that the processing of your personal data is restricted.
  • Object to the processing of your personal data.

You can exercise your rights by contacting the Data Protection Officer at


If you consider that your personal data has been misused or mishandled, you may make a complaint to the Information Commissioner, who is an independent regulator. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office , Wycliffe House , Water Lane , Wilmslow , Cheshire , SK9 5AF

Call: 0303 123 1113 or email:

Any complaint to the Information Commissioner is without prejudice to your right to seek redress through the courts.