Golden Lane Housing celebrate final property purchased for people with a learning disability from £10 million charity bond

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Alastair Graham, Director of Golden Lane Housing, joins the new tenants to cut the ribbon of their new home

The last property has been purchased with 2013’s £10m Social Investment Bond to fund permanent homes for people with a learning disability.

On 30 May 2014 Golden Lane Housing (GLH), Mencap’s housing service, welcomed guests to celebrate the four tenants moving into the final property bought from the £10m charity bond. GLH have now bought 27 properties providing independent living opportunities for 99 people with a learning disability.

Launched in 2013 the GLH Bond was the UK’s largest ever charity bond issue of its kind. It was oversubscribed by people wanting to invest in a bond that gives a social as well as financial return.

Only 16% of people with a learning disability live in supported housing in the community and Mencap research has found 8 in 10 councils report a housing shortage for adults with a learning disability.

This bond issue was the first step in raising up to £30 million pounds over the next few years, which will in total allow investors to give 250 people with a learning disability the chance to live independently and take control of their own lives.

The new tenants with a learning disability moved in to their brand new five-bed property on Monday 2 June 2014. The property will have room for five tenants and one sleep-in support worker, with all rooms being provided with en-suite bathrooms. Buckinghamshire County Council provided support with the design of the accommodation, and it has entered into a nomination agreement to ensure that the service is fully occupied.

Alastair Graham, director of Golden Lane Housing, said:

“We are delighted to welcome the new tenants of our final home purchased through the 2013 Bond. Thanks to all the people who invested in the bond making this possible and to Buckinghamshire County Council. Also a massive thanks to the dedicated staff of GLH and Mencap and our contractors – the transformation is amazing, they have done a fantastic job. Most of all thanks to our tenants!”

Louise Li, Golden Lane Housing Trustee, said:

“I became a Golden Lane Housing Trustee because of my brother, he lives in a similar house to this new property and it has been amazing for him, so I wanted to ensure that other people with a learning disability have the same experiences he has had. Golden Lane Housing  are committed to finding new ways to raise money and use it efficiently, ensuring there are more great services giving people with a learning disability the opportunity of a wonderful life. Thank you to everyone for their hard work and massive congratulations to the tenants on their new home.”

James, Bryan, Danny and Ryan are the four tenants with learning disability who have moved into the final new property in Buckinghamshire on Monday 2 June 2014. They previously lived in a Mencap residential care home at Lee Road but are now excited to have moved into their new property.

Danny, one of the new tenants, said:

“I will miss Lee Road but I think I am going to like it at my new house. My room is much bigger and I am glad I have my own en-suite and that I got to choose the colour – it’s yellow. The house is so big that I will be able to have my friends round. I was worried that my support staff would not support me anymore, but they are coming with me, so it is great!”

GLH, which is the housing arm of the charity Mencap, are assessing the impact of the bond on people who move using Mencap’s “What Matters to Me” framework. This is enabling them to assess and report on the difference the move has made to people in terms of their quality of life and independence.

About Golden Lane Housing

Golden Lane Housing is a national housing charity that provides supported living housing for people with a learning disability. Since being established by Mencap in 1998, Golden Lane Housing has housed over 1,300 people and invested over £74 million in housing. Golden Lane Housing works throughout England and Wales. Find out more at www.glh.org.uk

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