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MP Lucy Frazer reveals Sanctuary Housing Association has 250 empty homes in East Cambridgeshire

‘They have 250 empty properties in the middle of a housing crisis?’

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A shock investigation by MP Lucy Frazer has confirmed the principal housing association within her constituency has 250 empty homes. Ms Frazer, MP for SE Cambridgeshire, announced her discovery following a meeting with an officer from Sanctuary Housing Association.

The MP said Sanctuary Housing has now pledged to “fill 250 unoccupied homes in East Cambridgeshire in the next two years”.

She said she asked for the meeting having noticed “a steady stream of emails from constituents concerned about the state of their Sanctuary homes, the quality of repair jobs, and the number of empty properties.

“It was also raised with me at some of my recent open meetings – most notably in Haddenham and Fordham.”

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Sanctuary own and manage around 125,000 homes and is one of the largest housing associations in the country.

Taking the biscuit – MP Lucy Frazer released this photo of her meeting with a Sanctuary Housing Association officer last week.

Taking the biscuit – MP Lucy Frazer released this photo of her meeting with a Sanctuary Housing Association officer last week.

In 1993 East Cambridgeshire District Council transferred its council housing stock to Hereward Housing which later became Sanctuary Housing who now own much of the district’s social housing.

Ms Frazer said Sanctuary Housing had also pledged to:

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1: Create a dedicated East Cambridgeshire call team and direct email address for tenants, in addition to a new portal in July so residents can track their complaints online

2: Set up special hardship funds for those most in need of heating support

3: Train more inspection teams to carry out certain repairs on the spot

4: Explore use of data loggers to provide more information about air quality, temperature, and humidity

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Ms Frazer added: “I was also able to raise some of my constituents’ individual cases, and I have since been following up with the relevant residents to update them on Sanctuary’s plan of action.”

‘Nobody listens to us; nobody cares’ say housing association tenants over state of their homes

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canopyuk.com in-article

Ms Frazer announced details of her meeting on her Facebook page.

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The comments are piling up.

“They have 250 empty properties in the middle of a housing crisis?,” wrote one man.

“Is this an excuse to push the rent up by creating artificial scarcity?”

Another wrote: “It is down to bad management and yet again wasting public money. I live near one of its sites and it has empty bungalows. Added to that some living on that site still own their homes elsewhere!”

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One other comment was to point out that “there are two empty Sanctuary homes down my road that have stood empty for over a year. Meanwhile there’s councils shelling out for temporary accommodation”.

One other comment asked Ms Frazer: “Two years and you accepted that? These homes are subsidised by taxpayers, not good enough.

“I got someone’s roof repaired for them in two weeks after it was left damaged for months. I suggest you do better.”

And a resident of Haddenham pointed out that an 8-year-old Sanctuary Housing property in his village “has been empty many months if not over a year on our estate in our village”.

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On its website Sanctuary says: “We were set up more than 50 years ago and now provide housing and care in England and Scotland to more than a quarter of a million people. We exist to serve our customers and communities.

“Our mission is to build affordable homes and sustainable communities where people choose to live.

“We are a not-for-profit housing association, which means we don’t make profits for shareholders. Instead, we invest all the income we make – every penny – into delivering on our social purpose.”

 

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