In this episode John Cowman talks about why supported living is so important for people with learning disabilities. He discusses the different types of property required and the types of property he thinks will be wanted in the future. John also shares advice for property investors who are thinking of developing property for people with a learning disability.

John is Chief Operating Officer at Mencap. John grew up in Dublin in Ireland and qualified as a Physiotherapist from Trinity College Dublin in 1995. He moved into the community in the NHS in 2001, where he began in earnest his work with people with learning disabilities. He continued to work through the management hierarchies and became a Director of Business Development and Performance in Havering Primary Care Trust, establishing the first Autonomous Provider Organisation in the UK and going on to affect a major merger of NHS Community Providers.

He moved into the Third Sector in 2011 as the Director of Health for Young Epilepsy, advancing to Director of Operations. After a short period of time in the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability, he joined Mencap in May 2016. John has always had a significant drive to create equality for those with disabilities, specifically for people with a learning disability, and will utilise this in ensuring the Inclusive Communities and Partnerships directorate of Mencap is focussed on personalisation, independence and quality of life.

Learning Disability – Autism – Down’s Syndrome

What Matters Most

Lisa Brown became a property developer after her nursing career. She then discovered the need for supported living property and has been exploring the challenges and solutions, to create more homes for those with support needs, ever since.

Lisa has some limited availability for consultancy calls. If you would like to talk through anything discussed in the podcast, to explore how to work with supported living providers in your property business or if you are a supported living provider looking to understand property then please email

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