‘A Practical Guide to Data Protection in Social Housing’ by Clare Paterson


Paperback: 978-1-916698-21-5
Published: November 2023
Read a FREE chapter online now


Social housing providers collect and store information about the huge number of individuals they serve, so a clear understanding of both the legislation and the practicalities of handling personal data is critical.

Unfortunately, there are many myths about data protection, from needing consent to process any personal data, to organisations being prevented from helping vulnerable people due to data protection laws. These myths, and more, are addressed and debunked in this book.

With clear advice and a pragmatic approach, this is the book that the author wanted and needed when working in a large housing association on data protection. As well as explaining the legal requirements, this book highlights the many benefits to housing providers, from handling personal data in a compliant manner, including improved efficiency and increased customer trust, which both help landlords fulfil their social purpose more effectively.

This book shows everyone working in housing, not just data protection officers, how data protection can go from being seen as red tape or a blocker, to becoming the foundation on which to achieve the sector’s goals. It doesn’t just lay out the law, it also contains actionable advice and ideas for identifying risks and appropriate controls, and embedding data protection into the day-to-day work of social housing providers.


With a background in quality assurance and risk management, before specialising in data protection, as well as almost two decades in social housing, Clare Paterson has a holistic understanding of both the business risks and people-centered risks connected to data, and helps people to identify and control these risks, while continually expanding her own knowledge.

Clare is committed to providing the support she knows those working with data need, from her own experience, and does this as the founder of the Hive, a free online group for data professionals in values-led sectors, and the Hive Live, an in-person conference with interactive workshops as well as expert speakers, as well as writing blog posts and articles that have featured in varied publications, and speaking at events all over the UK. She works with clients through her own consultancy, CP Data Protection, and also worked with Anthony Collins Solicitors for over 5 years, providing advice and training. Clients describe her as “friendly, professional and flexible”, having a “warm and friendly approach” and her work as “excellent quality.” Clare balances her work with family life, listening to rock music and podcasts (and making a true crime podcast too), and drinking too much coffee.


Chapter One – Introduction to Data Protection in Social Housing
Chapter Two – Data Protection Officer Role & Responsibilities
Chapter Three – Personal Data
Chapter Four – The (UK)GDPR Principles
Chapter Five – Lawful Bases for Data Processing
Chapter Six – Data Subjects’ Rights
Chapter Seven – International Data Transfers
Chapter Eight – Data Sharing and Data Processors & Controllers
Chapter Nine – Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs)
Chapter Ten – Data Security, Breaches and Complaints
Chapter Eleven – Digital Transformation in Social Housing
Chapter Twelve – CCTV and ASB
Chapter Thirteen – Insight and EDI Work
Chapter Fourteen – Contacting People (Including PECR and the TSMs)
Chapter Fifteen – What Next?