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Sanctuary Housing - East

Sanctuary Housing manages more than 9,000 homes across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

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.

General rented housing provides affordable homes for people on low incomes. Our rented properties are available at lower rents than the open market.

If you would like to apply to live in a Sanctuary Housing property, please call us on 0800 131 3348 or 0300 123 3511. If you’re already a Sanctuary Housing resident or live in one of our homes in a different area of the country, 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' section on our online form.


All Home-Link users in East Cambridgeshire are asked to re-register for the service between 1st and 28th February 2019. This is to ensure the information they hold is up-to-date and accurate before they switch over to a new IT system. If you do not re-register during this time, you will not be able to bid for properties from April.

For more details, please visit the Home-Link website.

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 further information:

  • For further information about housing for older people in the East, please call us on 0800 917 0092 or 0300 123 3599.

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 eastservice.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 Sanctuary reviewing these services?

Our residents are usually charged for the shared services they benefit from, with costs shared fairly 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 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 review rent 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 that 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 eastservice.queries@sanctuary-housing.co.uk  or call 0800 131 3348 (from landline) or 0300 123 3511 (from a mobile)

Sanctuary in neighbourhoods

East Cambridgeshire

Our approach to investing in East Cambridgeshire is about involving everyone with a positive interest in the neighbourhood: whether they rent from us or own their own home; whether they go to school in East Cambridgeshire, or run a business.

East News

A Restore employee with their laptop.

Sanctuary Housing provides laptops for mental health charity

20 July 2020

An Oxfordshire charity supporting mental wellbeing is now able to continue to provide its services virtually thanks to a donation of laptops by Sanctuary Housing.

Thuvia Evans (left) and Connie Creighton (right)

Web workshops offer world of opportunity to Rochford residents

19 October 2018

The residents of two retirement housing schemes in Rochford are getting to grips with technology, thanks to a series of home-based computer workshops.

Available properties in East

Exterior of Old School Court

Old School Court, Maldon Road, Chelmsford CM3

Weekly rent: 
Key features: 
  • One bedroom
  • First floor flat
  • Gas central heating
  • Shared garden

Semi-rural location with amenities, including a local convenience shop within walking distance.

Exterior of Clitheroe Gardens

Clitheroe Gardens, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD19 6RL

Weekly rent: 
Key features: 
  • Two bedroom
  • Convenient location
  • Communal parking

Two bedroom, ground floor flat, suitable for a maximum of three people aged 55+. The property has one double and one single bedroom, kitchen, lounge and bathroom with shower over bath. 


Advice on COVID-19 (coronavirus)

The health and safety of our residents, their families and our staff is our number one priority.

We are continually monitoring how we provide services to our customers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including the resumption of routine repairs. More information about our services can be found on our Covid-19 page and on our social media channels. Please see our latest health and safety guidance.

Read our notice