Housing Benefit Services Telephone Interviews

Telephone Survey: Housing Benefit Services

Commencing late May 2022

What’s happening?

As part of a research project that aims to help us improve the services we provide to our Housing Benefit customers, the Housing Executive’s Research Unit has commissioned Cognisense, an independent market research company based in Northern Ireland, to conduct telephone interviews with a sample of current and former Housing Benefit customers. 

Which customers are being contacted?

Cognisense will contact a sample of:

  • Customers who were receiving Housing Benefit in February 2022; and  
  • Customers who had contact with our Housing Benefit Recovery Office in February 2022 regarding an overpayment of Housing Benefit.   

They will make initial contact by letter, from mid-May 2022.  This will be followed up over the coming weeks, when Cognisense will attempt to contact customers by telephone, with an invitation to take part in the research.  They may attempt to make contact during the day, in the evening, or on a Saturday. 

What is the interview about?

The interview is likely to last for around 20 minutes and will cover aspects of the service received in relation to the Housing Benefit claim or overpayment, including contact and interactions with us and satisfaction with the services received.  The interview will be conducted by a member of the team from Cognisense, and all information collected will be completely confidential and processed solely for the purposes of housing research. 

Why has the Housing Executive asked Cognisense to contact Housing Benefit customers? Is my information safe?

The Housing Executive has a statutory responsibility to ‘regularly examine housing conditions and need’ and may ‘conduct or promote research into any matter relating to any of its functions’.  As this is a large survey, we do not have the resources to carry out the work ourselves.  Therefore, we have appointed Cognisense to conduct the surveys on our behalf, and have provided them with customers’ contact details. 

Cognisense is acting as a data processer for the Housing Executive and is bound by a contract that covers its responsibilities under GDPR.  Contact details were provided for the sole purpose of conducting this research and Cognisense will not use them for any other purpose.  Your contact details will be deleted from their records at the end of this project. Information on how the Housing Executive uses personal data, including customers’ rights, is available on our website 

Participation in the research is voluntary and all information provided will be confidential, anonymised for analysis, reported in aggregate and used only for this research. It will not be possible to identify any individual respondents from the findings, which may be published on our website in due course.

Getting involved

The survey will run from late May until late July/early August 2022.  We value your views, and would be very grateful if you would be willing to take part in this research.  Thank you if you have been contacted by Cognisense and participated. If you have any questions about the research, you can contact our Research Unit on research@nihe.gov.uk or Cognisense on theteam@cognisense.com.



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