Last reviewed: April 2016 | Next review: June 2020
Our vision is a future where people with a learning disability have a real choice about where they live and who they live with and where housing options are tailored to meet their needs and aspirations.
Having choice and control about where and with whom someone with a learning disability can live, lays the foundations for people with a learning disability to have independence in other aspects of their life.
Less than 50 years ago, people with a learning disability were locked away and kept a secret from the rest of society. Many lived in large institutions – in settings resembling old hospital wards or prison wings, where abuse was rife and they had no contact with the outside world.
Much has changed since then. However, there is still more that needs to be done to ensure that people with a learning disability have their right to live independently realised.
Most adults with a learning disability want to live independently in the community, either by themselves (40%) or sharing a home with friends (30%). Families share this ambition.
Almost 70% of people with a learning disability known to social services live either with family or friends, or in a registered care home. Some people live in supported housing or a general needs housing association or local authority accommodation.
- Many people live with elderly parents, who worry what will happen to their children when they can no longer care for them.
- Over 3,000 people with a learning disability are currently placed in inpatient units, miles away from their family, often for a long time.
- 82% of local authorities say they have a shortage of suitable housing for adults with a learning disability and 67% say that it has become more difficult for adults with a learning disability to have their housing needs met.
- Due to this lack of appropriate local housing and the support options that go with it, many people with a learning disability do not get a choice about where they live or who they live with. Too often they are moved into accommodation far away from family and friends, especially if they have complex needs.
Housing easy read vision statement
Download the easy read version of our vision statement on housing. It tells you what we at Mencap think about housing for people with a learning disability and what we want it to look like in the future.Download resource
Housing vision statement
Download our housing vision statement to print off and readDownload resource
What we want
We want people with a learning disability’s right to independent living to become a reality and for them to have a real choice about where and whom they live with. For this to be possible:
- we must not go backwards to an era of institutional settings, hostels or enclosed communities
- the person’s needs and aspirations and the outcomes they are hoping to achieve must be central to all decision-making
- there must be a range of high quality housing options available that are sustainable into the future
- people with a learning disability must get the right health and social care support to help them live independently in the community and become part of their local community
- social security (benefits) must help people with a learning disability to access independent living
- people with a learning disability must be able to enjoy long-term security and stability in their home
We're working together with Golden Lane Housing on improving the housing provision for people with a learning disability in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We provide housing options tailored to the person's needs and argue for a better deal for people with a learning disability.