Rochford Housing

Rochford Housing Association, part of Sanctuary Group, manages more than 2,000 homes in the Rochford district of south Essex.

We have a wide range of homes available to rent or buy and are committed to providing quality homes and excellent services that meet the needs of the local community.

A resident stands outside her home in Rochford.

General rented housing provides affordable homes for people on low incomes. Our rented properties are available at lower rents than the open market. We have waiting lists for homes to rent in all parts of the country.

If you would like to apply to live in a Rochford Housing home, please call us on 0800 131 3348 or 0300 123 3511. If you’re already a Rochford Housing resident or live in a Sanctuary Housing property in a different region, you may be able to transfer to us.

Change of circumstances

Should your circumstances change, please let us know by filling in the Change of Circumstances form  (PDF 112KB).

We are refurbishing the accommodation at Frances Cottee Lodge to become housing for people in Rochford with urgent housing needs. Residents at Frances Cottee Lodge have been made aware of our plans and over time, will be assisted to move to new accommodation.

The 15 flats will be offered to families, couples and individuals who have been made homeless. Local accommodation ensures families can stay in the district and children can continue to attend their school.

Our planning application for minor internal and external alterations to the existing building, provision of additional car parking spaces and landscaping to the entrance of Frances Cottee Lodge has been submitted to Rochford District Council (RDC). The application can be viewed by visiting the Planning section of the RDC website.

Residents at our flats in Clarence Road have also been consulted and given the option to move to another sheltered scheme if they wish. As vacancies arise, these flats will be let to people who have applied to Rochford District Council or Rochford Housing for a home. These will no longer be restricted to over 55 year olds.

We have produced a set of Questions and Answers (PDF 276KB) to give you information about what is happening. We’ve produced further questions and answers in our ‘You asked – we said’ leaflet (PDF 766KB). You can also contact us directly via email on rochford.consult@sanctuary-housing.co.uk

Tenants who live in homes owned by Rochford Housing Association and leaseholders whose lease is with Rochford Housing Association were consulted about moving ownership directly to Sanctuary Housing Association.

This would be by a process called a transfer of engagements (‘ToE’). This is permitted under Section 110 of the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 and involves a registered society transferring its engagements by special resolution to another registered society that undertakes to fulfil those engagements. The transferring society is dissolved upon completion of the ToE. The term ‘engagements’ refers to everything that the organisation owns and does.

Thank you to those of you who have taken part in the consultation. We will write to you again shortly with the outcome.

Please read the proposed Rochford Charter (PDF 51KB), which describes the service tenants and leaseholders should receive from us.

Rochford Housing’s retirement living properties provide high quality accommodation and support services for those aged 60 and over (or 55 and over if registered disabled), allowing residents to live independently in a comfortable secure environment. Residents have their own accommodation and front door key, with access to a range of additional services, including support from retirement living staff and a 24-hour telecare alarm system.

For further information:

  • For further information about retirement living schemes in the Rochford area, please call us on 0800 131 3348 or 0300 123 3511.

In the letter you have received you will have read about the charge we are introducing to pay for the services we provide at your scheme. These services include a wide range of activities provided by us, including maintenance, cleaning, repairs and utility costs for communal areas and shared gardens, and electricity costs for communal areas.

The following FAQs provide answers to the most common queries we have received, although if you have any more questions please email rochfordservice.queries@sanctuary-housing.co.uk or call 0800 131 3348 (from landlines) or 0300 123 3511 (from mobiles).

Frequently asked questions

What do we mean by services?

  • Communal grounds maintenance such as grass cutting, maintenance of shrubs and borders, and tree pruning
  • Litter removal, including bulk and dumped rubbish
  • Cleaning of communal areas – stairwells and entrance areas
  • Window cleaning of shared areas (not individual properties)
  • Electricity costs and lighting replacements for communal areas
  • Testing and maintenance of smoke alarms and emergency lighting to shared areas
  • Maintenance of door entry systems
  • Replacement and repair of large items, such as door entry systems or lifts.

Why is Rochford Housing reviewing these services?

Our residents are usually charged for the shared services they benefit from, with costs shared equally between all of the applicable properties/households in the scheme. Up until now no formal review has been undertaken in your area and so you have previously benefited from services without charge. However, it is important that we are consistent and fair in how these services are both delivered and paid for, and in the future we will need to recover the costs in order to be able to continue to deliver these services to you, which is why we are undertaking a review at your scheme.

How do we know how much these services are currently costing?

We will determine the total costs for each scheme and then divide between the total number of properties. These charges are then split into weekly payments to help tenants spread the costs.

Will any changes affect Housing Benefit?

All the listed services (above) are classed as ‘eligible charges’ for the purpose of Housing Benefit. This means if you claim Housing Benefit you will be able to include the charges as part of your claim.

A very small number of residents may also benefit from a personal charge to their properties, which is usually something like a stairlift we have installed within their home. Any ongoing costs for these items, such as maintenance costs, can be charged to you. These costs are classed as ‘ineligible charges’ which Housing Benefit does not cover. You would be responsible for paying us for these costs regardless of whether you claim Housing Benefit or not.

What if I don’t want or am unhappy with a service?

Some services are not negotiable, such as communal lighting in a stairwell which would be dangerous if unlit. For some services, such as cleaning or grass cutting, we carry out regular quality checks and encourage your comments and suggestions for improvement. You may also be able to help us by becoming involved in regular estate inspections with our staff.

What services does my scheme benefit from?

You should have already received a full breakdown of all the services that you currently benefit from at your scheme. The breakdown gives you an idea of the services we provide to you and allows you to understand the associated costs.

What happens next?

You will shortly receive your annual rent review letter that will confirm your rent will decrease by 1 per cent, which is in line with recent government policy. We will also attach details of the service charge that you will need to pay for the services that you receive. A full breakdown of the cost will show you how we have calculated this amount. Please note the service charge will not start until 4 April 2016, in line with your rent decrease.

Who can I contact?

If you have any comments, concerns or queries, or if you require further information, you can email rochfordservice.queries@sanctuary-housing.co.uk  or call 0800 131 3348 (from landline) or 0300 123 3511 (from a mobile)

Maureen's Gift gives community groups across Rochford the opportunity to benefit from a share of £5,000.

The £5,000 fund is in memory of local community champion Maureen Vince who passed away in 2010. Maureen was a parish councillor for 16 years, a former chair of the Rochford Housing board and was heavily involved in many community groups and charities district-wide. 

Maureen’s Gift is a resident-led initiative offering support and encouragement for local people to assist their communities in making life a richer experience.

To apply, please complete the Maureen's Gift application form  (PDF 225KB).

For further information:

Did you know Rochford Housing is investing funding to make your neighbourhood a better place to live? As part of our Local Offers we’ve made a promise to help maintain and improve the environment and communal areas around our general needs homes.

Get involved

We’re asking Rochford Housing residents to get involved and share their ideas to revitalise their neighbourhood. So if you have a bright idea, we want to hear from you!

Rochford Housing improvements

How can I submit my idea?

It’s easy; just fill in the online form with your ideas.

What will happen to my feedback?

We’ll consider every idea and if we think it’s something we can help with, we’ll let you know.

What kind of ideas would be considered?

We’ll consider all ideas you submit about making your neighbourhood a better place to live. Here’s an example of a project we’re involved in:

Following a consultation with residents from Garden Way in Rochford, we realised that car owners wanted two things: to have an adequate, safe space to park and to be able to park outside or near to their homes. As a result, we are transforming an unused space to create 12 car parking spaces for residents to use. 

Please submit your ideas here and help to make a difference where you live!

A resident receives the keys to her new home from a Sanctuary representative.