About us

Providing good quality, affordable housing is at the heart of what we do.

With more than 50 years’ experience and over 70,000 homes across England, Sanctuary Housing is one of the UK's leading social landlords.

Our mission is to build sustainable communities where people choose to live, and as a not-for-profit organisation, we reinvest any surplus we make back into our housing and services.

We aim to provide an excellent, customer-friendly service. Our residents help us achieve this by challenging our performance and making suggestions about how we can improve.

A mature resident stands in her beautifully landscaped front garden.

We’re committed to delivering services to the standards you expect. Working with our residents, we’ve developed the following Local Offers you should expect from us.


  • If you have an emergency repair, we will respond to you within 24 hours. If your repair is not urgent, you will be offered a morning or afternoon appointment.
  • If we fail to fix your repair on the first visit to your home, we will give you the date of a further appointment.
  • We will make sure your home is safe and compliant with health and safety law.
  • We will make sure your home is repaired to a decent standard.


  • We will make it clear to you what to do if you experience anti-social behaviour (ASB).
  • We will also respond within one working day if you report a serious incident of ASB.
  • We will make sure your neighbourhood is well maintained.

Moving home

  • If you want to move homes, we will help you identify the options to meet your needs.

Customer service

  • We will make it easy for you to contact us if you have a problem or want information or advice.
  • If a staff member cannot resolve your query immediately, they will explain the process and the timescale for a resolution to you.
  • If you have a problem, we will keep you informed regularly of how we are dealing with your query or complaint, and the reasons for any changes.
  • If you cannot get through to speak to us and you leave a message, someone will call you back within one working day (Monday-Friday).
  • We will provide training for staff to ensure they are competent, knowledgeable and treat you as a valued customer.

Value for money and governance

  • We will provide an annual assessment of performance against plans and objectives.
  • We will comply with all relevant regulation and legislation and remain accountable to our residents and partners.
  • We will use external credit rating companies to check our performance and make sure we continue to be financially strong.
  • Our Group Board is committed to effective leadership and controlling the organisation and supporting residents to shape and scrutinise the services we provide.

Scrutiny Panels

Our resident scrutiny panels make sure we’re delivering our local offers on-time and within budget. We recruit local residents to examine our progress and make sure we’re accountable to all our residents.

Our panels meet four times a year and residents taking part receive full training and expenses. If you would like to get involved and help us continue to improve our services, you can find out more in the Resident Involvement pages.

A row of Sanctuary homes with smart railings, black front doors, porch lights and ample parking.

Applying for a home

We provide affordable housing for people on low incomes.

The rent for a general rented property is lower than the rent on properties available through private landlords.

There are many different ways to rent a property from us, including:

  • Through your local authority

    Most of our homes are let through local authorities. The best way to rent a Sanctuary home is to join your local authority's housing list.

  • Directly from us

    We hold our own waiting lists for properties in some areas of the country.

To be able to join our housing waiting list and be considered for these properties, you must meet our criteria for rehousing detailed in our Guide to applying for housing (PDF 595KB).

Your responsibilities

All of our residents sign a tenancy agreement before they move in to their home. This sets out what we have to do as a landlord to keep your home in good repair and to look after you as our tenant.

As one of our residents, you also have certain responsibilities which can be found in your tenancy agreement, but in brief, you must:

  • Pay your rent on time.
  • Live in harmony with your neighbours.
  • Keep the inside of your home in good order.
  • Maintain your private garden if you have one.

Please read your tenancy agreement carefully to make sure you know your responsibilities. If you break them, we may have to consider ending your tenancy.

Moving within Sanctuary

If you are already one of our residents and your housing needs change, we may be able to transfer you to another home.

For more details on our criteria and transfer application process, please see our Guide to applying for housing (PDF 319KB). Enquiries can be made about transferring via our online contact form, or by calling 0800 131 3348 or 0300 123 3511.

If you are already a resident with another social housing provider, you could consider swapping your home with another social housing resident through a mutual exchange.

Depending on the type of tenancy agreement you hold a mutual exchange may be the best way to obtain the house you want in your chosen area.

To find someone to exchange your home with, register on the HomeSwapper website. This is a free online service for our existing customers and will help you find other residents who are also looking for a mutual exchange.

To be eligible for a mutual exchange you must:

  • Have no rent arrears
  • Move to a property the correct size for your current need
  • Not move into a property with aids and adaptations, for example wet rooms, without being assessed and given a medical recommendation
  • Ensure Section 106 criteria (where applicable) is met by incoming applicants
  • Not be subject to a Possession or Suspended Possession Order
  • Not be subject to a Notice of Seeking Possession for a breach of tenancy agreement.

For more information, you can download our Mutual exchange leaflet (PDF 770KB) or contact us by calling 0800 131 3348.

A view across manicured gardens and trees to Sanctuary flats.

We also provide other types of housing which may be more suitable for you, including:

Home ownership

It can be difficult for first-time buyers to get a foot on the property ladder. The continuing rise in house prices and the larger deposits required to get a mortgage can make buying a home seem impossible.

But if buying on the open market isn’t an option for you, there is another way to become a homeowner and that’s through a home ownership scheme.

We have home ownership properties of various types, including shared ownership, homes bought under various right-to-buy legislation and retirement schemes.

We can help you find the home you need and the home ownership scheme that's right for you.

For more information:

Housing for older people

Sanctuary provides high-quality schemes which benefit from a scheme manager service, allowing residents to live comfortably, securely and independently.

Residents have their own self-contained accommodation; services include a dedicated scheme manager responsible for the management of the building and communal areas, 24-hour in-house telecare service and a separate 24-hour phone line to report any repairs or raise enquiries.

For more information:

Sanctuary Care provides homes with a wide range of high-quality care options for older people, including residential, nursing, respite, palliative and specialist dementia care.

Registered with the Care Quality Commission, Sanctuary Care is a professional organisation with an excellent reputation for providing care support and services.

Retirement Living

Offering specialist housing for over 55s, Sanctuary Retirement Living provides the opportunity to live independently in a safe and secure community environment with access to 24-hour emergency care and support. 

Our schemes offer spacious one and two-bedroom apartments for rent or shared ownership all with full wheelchair access throughout to enable independence for longer. Each scheme is unique, offering a range of personal care and support as well as access to a range of on-site communal facilities such as a hairdressing salon, restaurant, games rooms and lounges.

Supported Living

Sanctuary Supported Living delivers personalised care and support to a wide range of vulnerable people through supported housing, move-on accommodation, Care Quality Commission registered services, floating support and outreach support.

We specialise in services for young people, homeless families and individuals, people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities and people with mental health needs.

Through developing and delivering personalised care and support plans, we support over 6,000 people a year across England to build the confidence and life skills they need to realise their potential and guide them on their pathway to independence.

Key worker accommodation

We provide key workers, such as nurses and doctors, with affordable homes close to their place of work.

Our experienced team works with NHS Trusts, so they can offer convenient local quality accommodation and services at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge and Treliske Hospital, Truro (these links will open in a new window).

Commercial and market rent

Sanctuary manages around 100 market rent units and 180 commercial leases across England. Commercial leases include residential accommodation leased to private sector clients, as well as cafes, restaurants, shops and community spaces.

For more information, contact the Commercial and Market Rent team at CommercialandMarketRent@sanctuary-housing.co.uk.

Residents enjoy a game of badminton.

Corporate Social Responsibility is not just a corporate phrase; it’s the way we have been doing business for the last 50 years.

We are committed to running our business in an ethical and socially responsible way to ensure we contribute positively to the neighbourhoods we work in.

The way we work applies to all areas of our business including our residents, our staff, our partners and our suppliers.

For more information:

Three children sitting happily together on the sofa in their living room.

We understand the importance of developing and maintaining a culture that recognises the diversity of our workforce, our residents and all other stakeholders.

We believe that this vision will not be achieved unless we respond positively to the wide social diversity in contemporary society and reflect this in our own organisational culture.

We are an inclusive and diverse organisation committed to ensuring that all of our staff, residents and partners are treated fairly and equally and receive equal services and opportunities regardless of their race, religion, gender, sexuality, disability, age or any other ground that cannot be justified.

Read an overview of our new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (PDF 891KB), which outlines what we’ll be doing over the next three years to make sure that everyone feels included.