Tenant Profiling - FAQ
What is tenant profiling?
Tenant profiling, also known as “Customer Insight” and “Segmentation” is a tool businesses use to gather information about their customers. It usually takes the form of a questionnaire sent by post, internet or completed over the telephone. The information we gather allows us to invest in services that are relevant to our tenants and valued. For example, by finding out how many people speak different languages on our estates, we can decide whether we need to produce documents in those languages or develop our translation service. The data can also help us prepare for major changes in benefits and government policy. For example, the data we collect on household makeup, internet access and employment and income have helped us identify families who will need the most support with Welfare Reform. There is some information we are required to report to the Welsh Government to help them make decisions about social housing across the country.
Tenant profiling will also help us improve our communities by guiding estate improvements and other investment. Digital inclusion is a hot topic for most sectors. Many aspects of society from goods and services to job applications have now gone digital and if you don't have access to the internet, it will become increasingly difficult to access some services. United Welsh will be asking about your internet use to help shape our Digital Inclusion plan. We're also working on making it easier to contact us and access our services digitally through our new tenant app and ongoing improvements to our web and text services.
I filled one out last year, do I need to do it again?
You only need to fill in the big survey once, usually when your tenancy starts. Every year we will send a refresher survey to make sure the data we have is accurate and up to date.
It's important to let us know if your circumstances or contact details change. If you have a baby, if someone moves out or your income or employment status has changed, you don't need to wait for a survey to tell us - simply contact Customer Services and we'll update your records immediately.
What happens if I don’t want to take part?
Some information such as names, dates of birth, NI number and household makeup is mandatory to set up your tenancy. We will not be able to process your payments and benefits with out this data. For the other questions, you can choose "prefer not to say" if you don't wish to answer.
If I fill in this survey, how will my information be used?
Data from completed surveys will be entered onto our housing management database and linked to your tenancy account. The data will be analysed in a variety of ways to give us an idea of the trends that may be out there. We will use the results of this analysis to make key decisions about our service. At every stage from paper survey to electronic storage, your data will be kept secure and confidential in line with Data Protection guidelines. We won’t share any information that identifies you with anyone else. We may share some of our findings with partner organisations such as the local authority and local health services. This will allow our tenants to have an impact on wider services in their local community. This data will be anonymised. We have to share tenant names and dates of birth with Welsh Water (Dwr Cymru) under Water Industry Regulations (Information about Non-Owner Occupiers) 2014.
What does my religion or gender identity have to do with housing?
We’re committed to promoting equality and diversity at United Welsh. We’re asking about sensitive information like your race, sexual orientation and religion because we want to make sure we’re doing all we can to help minority groups to access our services. Stonewall, a charity which promotes Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual rights has stated “Housing is specifically an issue for lesbians, gay men and bisexual people. Most local authorities and housing providers do not monitor the sexuality of clients therefore they do not have a clear picture of how best to respond to the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people faced with homelessness” Basically, if we know more about the people living in our properties we can work against these issues and provide targeted support with things like anti-social behaviour, building stronger communities and promoting inclusion. Stonewall has produced an excellent pamphlet called “What’s it got to do with you?” that lays out the benefits of helping with this type of research. You can see a copy of this pamphlet on their website.
Why are you asking about my family’s finances?
The Government’s Welfare Reform started to take effect in 2013 with "Bedroom tax". This made it vital for landlords to identify household makeup so we could help those now facing a rent shortfall. From 2015, Universal Credit will be rolled out across Wales, first to new single claimants, then to families and existing claimants. All applications will need to be made online and there will be big changes to the way the benefits are paid. We are now collecting data to help make the transition as smooth as possible and to help get our communities "digitally included" by setting up internet projects. We will be using tenant profiling data to identify those most at risk from the changes. National insurance numbers will become important to link benefit claims to tenancies.
One of the main goals of the tenant profiling project is to gather information about our tenants’ sources of income so we can find out where we need to provide extra support. Inside Housing reports that over 90% of new Housing Benefit claimants in the last few years are working people who find it hard to make ends meet in today’s climate, not the unemployed. This challenges a lot of common assumptions and we want to make sure that the people who may need extra support don’t miss out.
We have now grown our Money Advisor Service to include a dedicated Universal Credit project officer to help our tenants with the changes. We will also be keeping you informed about your rent using text messages and e-mails so its important we have up to date contact numbers for you.
If there’s anything more you’d like to know that we haven’t covered, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0800 294 0195 (option 3) or email email@example.com
♦ STILL HAVEN'T COMPLETED THE SURVEY? You can print or complete a copy here - Tenant profiling survey form for new tenants 2015.doc and either return it to our Head Office or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.