GLH moves to become an independent provider to deliver new housing solutions for people with a learning disability and autism

December 15, 2021

A leading provider of housing for people with a learning disability and autism is on track to become a standalone housing association from April 2022.

Golden Lane Housing (GLH) was established by Mencap as a housing charity in 1998 to address the shortage of quality housing options for people with a learning disability. Following registration as a housing association with the Regulator of Social Housing in 2015, it became a charitable Community Benefit Society (CBS) in September this year, which has brought the organisation in line with the vast majority of other housing associations across the UK.

The conversion to a CBS comes as GLH prepares to demerge from the Mencap group next year, with both organisations entering an exciting new partnership arrangement that supports new housing solutions and each other’s strategic plans.

John Verge, chief executive of Golden Lane Housing, said: “GLH has worked for 23 years to provide housing for people with learning disabilities. Working in partnership with Mencap, we have grown so much over these years and we now have nearly 2,500 tenants living in our properties across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The decision to demerge was a mutual decision by both Boards and recognised the maturity and scope that GLH has developed. We will still be working closely with Mencap after the demerger takes place. Our mission and values remain aligned and both GLH and Mencap are committed to supporting people with learning disabilities and campaigning for better opportunities and better housing solutions.

“Our tenants are at the heart of all the decisions we make. We consulted with them before the decision to become a CBS was made and have reassured them that there will be no impact or change to their homes.

“I am looking forward to watching GLH grow and develop to support more people with learning disabilities to access housing that is of a high quality and meets their needs in the future.”

Edel Harris, chief executive officer of Mencap, said: “Together Mencap and Golden Lane Housing have built a lasting legacy in the work we’ve done to improve choice for people with a learning disability who want to live independently. Now is the right time for our organisations to separate formally while continuing to work in partnership. We look forward to a future of working closely together to make the UK the best place in the world for people with a learning disability to live happy and healthy lives.” 

About Golden Lane Housing:

Golden Lane Housing (GLH) is one of the country’s leading supported housing landlords for people with a learning disability. We provide high quality housing across England, Wales and Northern Ireland that is tailored to meet a person’s specific needs and work in partnership with more than 150 support providers to ensure people have access to the support they need to live independently both in their home and community.

About Mencap:    

There are approximately 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want:

For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap’s Freephone  Learning Disability Helpline  on 0808 808 1111 (10am-3pm, Monday-Friday) or email

What is a learning disability?    

• A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which means that people might need support with everyday tasks – for example shopping and cooking, or travelling to new places – which affects someone for their whole life;    

• Learning disability is  NOT  a mental illness or a learning difficulty, such as dyslexia. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’;   
• People with a learning disability can take longer to learn new things and may need support to develop new skills, understand difficult information and engage with other people. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. For example, someone with a severe learning disability might need much more support with daily tasks than someone with a mild learning disability.