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Sanford Housing Co-op

Sanford Housing Co-op - 11 Sanford Walk - New Cross - London - SE14 6NB - Tel: 020 8692 4925 - Fax: 020 8694 646

General Info

Sanford Housing Co-op ("Sanford") is England's first purpose-built Co-op and was founded in1974. "Sanford" is situated in New Cross SE14, Sanford Walk. The co-op consists of 6 flats for single occupants and 14 houses with 10 rooms each (in some houses one room has been converted in a living room). The rooms are partly furnished and have their own sink. Each house has central heating, three toilets, a shared kitchen, one bathroom, one shower room and an attic. The Co-op has a communal garden with herbs and a beautiful arrangement of fish ponds. The rent is around £ 40 per week, including water, electricity and Council tax. In summer Sanford is host of a party, famous within the local community, and an excellent opportunity for future applicants to learn about the co-op and to link up with their members.


CoM: The Co-op is run by the Committee of Management CoM, which comes together every 4 weeks and deals with the "day to day business" of the Co-op. In the CoM each house is represented by one member, which has been democratically elected by the house. In Members Meetings (two weeks before each CoM Meeting) the members discuss problems and prepare decisions for the CoM. General Meetings are held twice a year. In these General Meetings all members have a vote. The General Meetings mainly deal with the approval of the budget and the election of the the Co-op's officers (Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Maintenance, Memberships, Garden, Equal Opportunities and many more).

With CDS (Co-operative Development Services) Sanford has found a professional partner in the management of the Co-op, which deals -among others- with rent and financial administration.


Application procedure

Who can apply?

Sanford accepts applicants from all sections of the community over the age of 18, regardless of gender, ethnic origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation or health status. Sanford seeks applicants who wish to live and actively participate in a co-op environment. Sanford is a single person's Co-operative and does not accept applicants with dependent children. Built in the 70s, Sanford has no provision for wheelchairs, deaf or visually impaired people.

How to apply:

1. Get an application (see contact details above). Before you fill in the form, get more information about Sanford and the idea behind living in a co-op (e.g. by reading the international Co-operative Principles).
2. Fill in the form and send (better:bring) it to Sanford's office (details above). Your form will be vetted by volunteers of the co-op who check out if you are suitable for membership.
3.Membership panel: If you have passed the first hurdle, you will be invited to Sanford for an interview with a membership panel (depending on the number of applicants void rooms, after a few weeks until up to several months) This interview is held in quite a relaxed atmosphere. The panel (3 Sanfordites) will e.g. ask you questions about your motivation to live in a co-operative environment. Ask questions yourself. The panel should only reject your application when you are obviously not suitable for the co-op (e.g. because you show racist tendencies or you show that you are not willing to contribute to the co-op).
4. House interviews: If you have passed the second hurdle, you will be invited on a Sunday afternoon. At this "final stage" you (and several others) will have an interview in each house with an empty room. The house members eventually decide, who they prefer to live with in the future.
5. Move in! If a house has chosen you to move in, you have two weeks to start your tenancy agreement.

6. If you are rejected, you can have two more goes for house interviews. If you are rejected three times, you can reapply only after 6 months.

For more information visit Sanford's webpage:

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