Sanctuary’s neglect of the elderly and vulnerable

The uselessness, lies, rudeness, threats, bullying and generally corrupt behaviour of Sanctuary Housing Group (includes Sanctuary Housing Association, Sanctuary Care, Sanctuary Management Services and others) over the last few years are extensively documented in a large number of personal accounts from people across England and Scotland on my previous blog Are Sanctuary Housing above the law? Sanctuary’s unprofessional and excessively corporate behaviour (at times, corporate fascism would seem to be a fair description) continues to affect many – tenants, relatives, students, property-owning neighbours, their own front line employees, and others. Over the last few months, there have been the following complaints in press articles from around the country:-

Maureen Cox, three months with no heating and asbestos

Maureen Cox, 76, three months with asbestos and no heating

Terry McGuire, 82, not on £310,000

Terry McGuire, 82, not on £310,000

In Oxford, a great-grandmother was found to be living without heating in a Sanctuary property with asbestos for three months (November 2013). On the edge of Birmingham, a CQC report revealed that Sanctuary Care, which owns and runs 60 care homes, had put residents ‘at risk of receiving unsafe care and treatment’ because of staff shortages (November). A Cambridge newspaper article: Family plead to be moved from their ‘hell hole’ Sanctuary Housing home (December). The Banbury Guardian had a woman’s three-year wait for house repairs and in the Hemel Hempstead area there were pensioners asking why a security light repair took four months (January 2014). Yes, I think we are getting the picture! Back in Oxford again, last month, a family’s possessions were taken to the tip after a garage mix-up and just a few days ago in Liverpool, a Wirral pensioner slept rough outside his doorstep after being evicted by Sanctuary.

David Bennett, Sanctuary Chief Executive on £310,000

David Bennett, Sanctuary Chief Executive, on £310,000

Whilst they may do great work in some areas, the above instances would appear to be the tip of the Sanctuary iceberg, as can be seen from other blogs here and elsewhere. This widespread neglect of the elderly and vulnerable is coming from a company that has charity status, that made a “surplus” (i.e. profit) of £72 million last year, a company that currently pays its Chief Executive David Bennett £310,000 per year.

They need to be stopped.


About Tim
UK musician (pop/rock/prog), astrologer for 30 years (the deeper stuff), care and support worker #ExtinctionRebellion "We're all f***ed, so be nice." ~ Russell Brand

13 Responses to Sanctuary’s neglect of the elderly and vulnerable

  1. craig says:

    My god, when will someone take notice to what this company is doing, and getting away with.
    Great research Tim.

  2. Tim says:

    Cheers Craig. At the moment, the local newspapers make no reference to the national situation, Sanctuary being a registered charity who made £72 million profit last year etc. It would be nice if people drew attention to this when approaching MPs and local newspapers.

    • the darlik says:

      evil out fit , i am a tenant in shelterd accomodation the manager is the most uncaring person i have ever known cold and aloof. I am sure when they recruit them , they ask “do you like elderly people?, – no – “good, then you have got the job

  3. Tim says:

    A relevant August 2013 post, from the main “Are Sanctuary Above The Law” blog, from Margaret Young:-

    We and our adult down syndrome children are the first pensioner family we are told who are living in sanctuary housing . If we had read this blog before signing the tenency we would not have signed it. I did not know untill we signed the tenency that it had a support contract attached to it –ie if you do not accept the support package contract you do not get the tenency, by the time we signed it it was to late to say no. we thought that we would get good support for all of us , but what a shock we got my disabled children get no help and they have complex needs one mental one physical. in our other houses we have maintained the security for our son but now have none , we moved into the x wardens flat but it is not fit for purpose especially for a disabled family. the water is to hot to allow the children a shower and there is something wrong with the taps where it can go cold then it goes very hot . the sub contractor wrote a bad report about it and the security still we wait while the children bath in the swimming pool in public showers.there is a fire risk we were told, there was a fire 4months ago and the fire marshall from sanctury never turned up the fire department was not pleased the fire doors need changing the residents are not happy about a lot of things. I have just found out that they keep files on residents and the residents association is run by them. the wder the freedom of information act /data protection actrden tried to get us to put our sister down as next of kin . In our opinion the human rights act , sactury housing equality act have been breached , in our opinion there is a conflict of interest by them taking part in the residence association meetings. we have been told that the rent keeps going up, but the services goes down , the residents are on different support tarriffs yet they pay the same support charge even those who are not on a tarriff— why??? the care in the coummunity do not want to know–the council. i asked marie from that unit who was going to pay when the benefits change next year when the part time warden goes out into the coumunity, we do not get anything now what will we get then. if I was the council i would not let them tender for it .please help or give advice thank you. margaret x

  4. Tim says:

    Perhaps someone from Sanctuary would like to comment here?

  5. Tim says:

    No comment from Sanctuary? Quelle surprise.

    There is now more than enough evidence on these blogs to show that Sanctuary Housing and Sanctuary Group as a whole have major problems and that many people are suffering as a result.



    1. The Homes And Communities Agency (the social housing regulator, mainly financial regulation)
    Email: Website:
    Postal address: Referrals and Regulatory Enquiries Team, Homes and Communities Agency, 1st Floor, Lateral, 8 City Walk, Leeds LS11 9AT

    “Thank you for your letter, sent to the Homes And Communities Agency and other organisations, containing a number of allegations about Sanctuary Housing Association… (We have) now considered the information you have provided and would like to invite you or others who have experienced difficulties to provide us with further information.” Carole Harrison, Referrals and Regulatory Enquiries Team, Homes and Communities Agency, 28.10.13

    2. Margaret Hodge MP and the Public Accounts Committee
    Email: Website:
    Postal address: Committee of Public Accounts, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA

    “My committee retains a strong interest in how the system of social housing provision as a whole is operating and I am grateful for the information you have provided… thank you for drawing these matters to my attention.” Margaret Hodge, Public Accounts Committee, 6.12.13

    Please contact both of the above with a carefully written letter by post.

    These blogs are now getting 150-200 views most days, this needs to be translated into action.

    Thank you.

    • Ann Boni says:

      A family member of mine who is a pensioner is a tenant of Sanctuary Housing. Since middle December 2014 her central heating and hot system boiler has broken down. A temporary repair was made after an unacceptable period of time during very cold weather. It failed shortly after. An engineer/surveyor (I use those terms casually) came out eventually after many, many phone calls from my sister to Sanctuary, to inform us it might be the pump or it might be the fan or it could be something else etc etc etc etc. obviously had no idea! Once again no one has been in contact to inform my sister what is happening, in the meantime she is living without heating and hot water. This is unacceptable.

      This company, Sanctuary, is an absolute disgrace. Instead of the executives being given awards for their work in social housing they should ‘go back to the floor’ and sort out the very basic business of social care as they obviously have no idea what is going on.

      I am going to take my Sister’s case further as this cannot be allowed to carry on

      • Tim says:

        Hi Ann, it really is down to people like you to stop them – there is no regulation of consumer standards for housing associations, as confirmed by Margaret Hodge of the Public Accounts Committee in a 2013 letter to me.

        Your sister’s case is unfortunately very typical and Sanctuary are often completely clueless and worse. The scale of this has become even clearer from facebook groups and nationwide local newspaper articles over the last year. A small number of us are currently pushing very hard to expose this company.

        Good luck.

      • Cat says:

        Have you managed to get any where yet?

  6. Tim says:

    Facebook groups and pages for discussion, information and practical help – run by tenants and others who have suffered appalling treatment at the hands of Sanctuary – YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

    Sanctuary Housing complaints group countrywide

    Sanctuary Housing tenants

    Sanctuary Housing/shambles

    Sanctuary Housing Banbury residents group

    Justice For Ernest John Coles

  7. Cat says:

    Sanctuary housing should be renamed misery housing .lam a joint tenant aged 66 and a carer for my joint tenant we are both vulnerable people, we have suffered a.s.b.from our neighbours for the past year, they are disgusting people and I feel sorry for their children. We have had the housing officer and the police out to them at least five times but sanctuary do nothing but breach the contract that we signed with them they do not seem to care that we are the victims here all they do is make excuses that they cannot do this or that!. So what was the point of signing the contract with them .especially where it says a.s.behavlour will not be tolerated! If we missed paying our rent it would be a different story!shame on them LIARS!

  8. Tim says:

    The following facebook group has been very active over the last 9 months or so, it now has 500 members. Plenty of support available there, endless ideas for how to TAKE ACTION. Run by tenants for tenants who have suffered at the hands of the Sanctuary.

    Sanctuary Housing Complaints Group – Countrywide

  9. Pingback: Sanctuary Housing exposed – Dispatches Channel 4, 25th March, 8pm | The Tim Burness Blog

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