Please find a list of our policies and procedures on issues affecting our work. 

Privacy Policy

Housing Justice and Legitimate Interests

This report documents Housing Justice’s position on using Legitimate Interests as lawful grounds for processing the personal data of our donors/ supporters , through postal or telephone communication, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation ( GDPR).

Our position has been taken based on the “Guidance of Legitimate Interests under the EU General Data Protection Regulation “created by the Data Protection Network.

We will be using Legitimate Interests as lawful grounds with a refresh period of 2 years. If there has been no contact or further donation after 2 years we will no longer contact the donor based on the premise of Legitimate Interest.

When taking our position on Legitimate Interest we have been mindful of the specific wording in Article 6 (1) (f):

“ Processing will be lawful if it is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the controller or a third party, except where such interests are overridden by  the interests of fundamental right and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child.”

We have also been mindful of the GDPR guidance on Legitimate Interests and direct marketing:

“ The processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes may be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest. An organisation may wish to rely upon Legitimate Interests where consent is not viable or not preferred and the balance of interests condition can be met”.

This report establishes the necessity for processing personal data and demonstrates how we have balanced the needs of Housing Justice with the interests of those receiving our direct marketing communications ( ie our donors/supporters).

Legitimate Interests and the donor/ supporter experience

When making a donation our supporters are indicating that they want to support the work that we do and we believe that they want to open up communication with us and hear about how that money is spent and what our future needs and aims are.

The Legitimate Interests Assessment (LIA)

We followed the 3 stages of a LIA

  • Identification of a legitimate interest
  • Carrying out a necessity test
  • Carrying out a balancing test.


Identification of a legitimate interest

(a) What is the purpose of the processing operation?

The purpose of Housing Justice (and by extension the processing of donor data) is to support church and community groups in taking action to alleviate homelessness and poor housing by taking practical action and/or pressing for change.

We can only achieve these aims with the engagement of individuals and organisations who support our aims. We depend upon direct marketing to keep donors and supporters up to date with what we are doing and how they are making a difference and to invite them to offer further support.

(b) Is the processing necessary to meet one or more specific organizational objective?

We cannot carry on in our work without raising funds from individuals, churches and other organisation’s and so are of the view that processing personal data for direct marketing is necessary.

(c) Does the GDPR, ePrivacy regulation or other national legislation specifically identify the processing activity as being a legitimate activity , subject to the completion of a balancing test and positive outcome?

Our processing activity is a traditional direct marketing activity through post . We have noted the GDPR guidance on Legitimate interests and direct marketing:

“The processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes may be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest. An organization may wish to rely upon Legitimate interests where consent is not viable or not preferred and the Balance of Interests condition can be met”.

Our Balancing Test below explains why we believe that the processing activity is of legitimate interest to Housing Justice and also achieves a benefit for society by enabling us to continue our work addressing rough sleeping, homelessness and housing need.

There is no impact within the current draft of the ePrivacy regulation that will impact on postal communication.

Necessity Test

1- Why is the processing activity important to the controller?

It is essential for us to engage supporters in donating to continue our work. We rely on voluntary contributions for a significant part of our income, in particular for core funds.

2- Is there another way of achieving the objective?

It is the view of housing Justice that without the use of Legitimate Interests as the basis for our supporter communications Housing Justice would be unable to reach the number of supporters we need to in order to achieve our aims.

Balancing Test

1- Would the individual expect the processing activity to take place?

The person has given us their data freely at the point of donation or making contact. It is our opinion that the individual would reasonably expect to receive updates and communications about supporting our work in the future.

2- Does the processing act add value to a product or service that the individual uses?

It does add value in that it keeps the individual up to date with the work of the charity and gives them the opportunity to support the charity again.

3- Is the processing likely to negatively impact the individual’s rights?

We can see no occasion whereby the processing by Housing Justice would have a harmful effect on the rights of the individual.

We have taken steps to ensure that supporters are aware of their rights  and aware of how they can control / enforce their rights according to their personal circumstances:

  • Our privacy policy reflects our stance on Legitimate Interests and explain the purpose of the data processing
  • We have clear signposts across our channels as to how supporters can contact us regarding treatment of their data
  • Supporters are sent consent forms with our direct communications and so it is clear to them how they can opt out of future communication
  • Supporters can register their preferences for contact (including opting out of all future contact) via our website.

4- Is the processing likely to result in unwarranted harm or distress to the individual?

We can see nor circumstances where our contact would lead to harm or distress as every time we contact we will offer the opportunity for them to opt out of any future contact.

5- Would there be a prejudice to the Data Controller if processing does not happen?

Yes as we rely on raising funds from our donors to carry out our work.

6- Would there be a prejudice to the third party if processing does not happen?


7- Is the processing in the interests of the individual whose personal data it relates to?

We are confident that our supporters donate or contact us because they share our vision and mission. If they have made a donation we believe that means they want to understand how we are spending that money,what our future plans are and how they can donate again.

8- Are the legitimate interests of the individual aligned with the party looking to rely on their legitimate interests for the processing?

According to the criteria set by the ICO the legitimate interests of Housing Justice and the individual do not strictly align in this context as the benefit is of a wider societal nature rather than the individual in question.

It is our belief that at least on an aspirational level the motivations of both the individual ( our supporters) and the data controller ( Housing Justice) are aligned in that we both want to alleviate homelessness and housing need. We consider that this is sufficient justification to continue the processing.

9- What is the connection between the individual and the organization?

We consider all who financially support us as “partners” in our partnership scheme. As such we aim to keep them up to date with our work and give them the opportunity to consider carrying on in their capacity as partners or to withdraw.

10- What is the nature of the data to be processed? Does data of this nature have any special protections under GDPR?

The nature of the data to be processed is

  • Name and salutation
  • Postal address
  • Telephone Number
  • E mail address

We do not process any data ( for direct marketing purposes) as defined by the Special Categories of Personal Data, and are therefore not required to meet the Article 9 condition for lawful basis of processing in this context.

11- Is there a 2 way relationship between the organization and the individual whose personal information is going to be processed? If so, how close is that relationship?

In most cases this is a typical scenario of direct marketing whereby the supporter responds by choosing to donate or not. However, we do have a newsletter that we offer to all supporters and some donors receive that and respond to it.

Some significant donors have a more personal relationship and will make contact or receive contact by way of update on spending on specific areas of interest.

Because we are a Christian organization supported largely by active Christians there can be contact made around times of prayer also eg Homeless Sunday or the annual Commemoration Service for homeless people who have died during the year.

12- Would the processing limit or undermine the rights of the individual?

We do not believe that the processing of this data in any way undermines or frustrates the ability to exercise the rights of the individual, either now or in the future.

We make it easy to disengage every time we make contact.

13- Has the personal information been obtained directly from the individual , or obtained indirectly.

All of the personal information we hold has been obtained directly from the individual; we do not work with third parties.

14- Is there any imbalance in who holds the power between the organization and the individual?

We do not consider there to be an imbalance of power. As stated previously, we offer opportunities to opt out of contact with every communication and people can register their contact preferences at any time via our website or by telephone.

15- Is it likely that the individual may expect their information to be used for this purpose?

Individuals who have donated or made contact and registered their details with us will be likely to expect us to write to them to appeal for donations. Appeals and updates are standard communications for all charities.

16- Could the processing be considered intrusive or inappropriate? In particular could it be perceived as such by the individual or in the context of the relationship?

We do not think that our direct marketing would be considered intrusive or inappropriate. We currently only contact people who have donated before or registered their details with us. As such we consider they would expect to hear from us.

17- Is a fair processing notice provided to the individual? If so, how? Are they sufficiently clear and up front regarding the purposes of the processing?

Our privacy policy will be the subject of continual review, reflecting and communicating any necessary changes to our data processing.

18- Can the individual, whose data is processed, control the processing or object to it easily?

The individual can easily access our complaints process if they are unhappy with how their data is being processed. They can also easily opt out of any further communication.

19- Can the scope of the processing be modified to reduce/ mitigate any underlying privacy risks or harm? 

The processing is very simple as we do not work with any third parties. We consider that the risk is already minimal with clear channels of communication if there are any concerns.