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Data sharing

Data sharing

The Seattle Housing Authority is committed to the protection of tenants’ personal information and treats and stores it carefully. There are times when we share data because it is required by law, or it may enable SHA to more effectively collaborate with other organizations to accomplish its goals and better serve tenants. Data is only shared with organizations and companies that have specific data safety protocols in place. Tenant data is never sold or shared with organizations for profit.  

SHA shares tenant information in a variety of circumstances. Many are required as part of participation in housing programs or are part of routine agency work. It is not possible to opt out of these data sharing activities if you are part of SHA housing programming:  

  • Data that is required for program qualification: SHA is required to share tenant data to determine eligibility, enroll and recertify tenants for housing assistance. In order for tenants to receive housing services, they must sign a release of information to allow SHA to share this information. The data shared includes personally identifiable information. Depending on the program you are in, you will have signed one of these forms:  ROI HUD 9887 or ROI HUD 9886.
  • Data shared between departments and with specially Identified Service Partners:  This data sharing is necessary for the core work of SHA, including ensuring effective services for our tenants. Data is only shared with individuals within SHA or our specially Identified Services Partners who deliver on aspects of our work. This data is shared for the specific purposes of conducting SHA business and is only shared when necessary for the business purpose. Please find a list of our Contracted Social Service Partners
  • Data shared with research partners: SHA works with a variety of research partners, such as Public Health and educational institutions to help develop a better understanding of the needs and experiences of the people we serve. This data may be in summary or identifiable form. 
  • Summaries and reports: SHA prepares a variety of reports and summaries of the work that we do and the tenants we serve. When this information is in aggregate/summary form, it does not include personal information. This data is used to demonstrate trends and broad descriptions of publicly available information. Summary information includes no personal information.  
  • Emergencies and direct referrals: At times SHA may provide direct referrals to emergency or social service agencies based on emergent need. These referrals are generally based on publicly available or observable information.  
  • Public records requests: Certain information about tenants will be released to any company, individual, or group that legally requests it. 

There are times when organizations or individuals request information that is not part of our routine work. In these situations, it is possible for tenants to opt out of sharing this data. 

  • Service identification and improvement:  At times, SHA may share tenant information for the purpose of connecting them with free opportunities, resources and public benefits, or to help improve these types of services. More information about this process can be found through the  Notification of Information Sharing, which was also sent to all current tenants in June 2022.
    • For tenants who prefer we do not share this type of data for this purpose: 
      • The best way to opt out is by emailing DataSharingOptOut@seattlehousing.org. Please list your name, and either your address or tenant ID, and tell us that you would like us to not share your data. This will mean that your information will not be included when external service providers have new resources they would like to share with the community. Your data will still be included in other data uses as described above. 
      • If you are not able to email, please call 206-239-1590. You will have an option to leave a message. Please leave a message with your name and address, and tell us you would like to opt out. You can also leave messages about questions you may have about data sharing. If you ask a question, please include a phone number to call you back.    
  • Participation-based research: Sometimes organizations or individuals ask SHA if tenants would like to share their opinions or experiences on a particular topic. In these circumstances, SHA will present that opportunity and allow tenants to choose whether to participate. No information is shared unless the tenant chooses to participate.