Laurence G. Henderson, 53, active for many years here on housing, mass transit and urban planning, died Thursday at George Washington University Hospital. He suffered from a heart condition.

At the time of his death, Mr. Henderson was on the board of directors of the National Housing Conference, Inc. He had joined the Conference in 1961 as executive vice president, a position he held until 1967. Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., Mr. Henderson was a graduate of the University of Virginia. He later took graduate work at Bard College, harvard University, the University of Paris and the University of Edinburgh.

During World War II, he served with the 26th (Yankee) Division, participating in the Battle of the Bulge, the freeing of prisoners of Buchenwald, and later, the occupation of Berlin. He was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star medals and the Purple Heart.

Mr. Henderson came to Washington after the war and was an administrative aide to Sen. Ralph E. Flanders (R-Vt.) and then to Sen. William Benton (D-Conn.)

He helped to work out the reorganization plan establishing the Housing and Home Finance Agency and to draft the Housing Act of 1949.

From 1950 to 1954, he was staff director of the Senate Small Business Committee. Later he was Washington representative for several airplane firms.

Mr. Henderson had served on the Interior Department's advisory board on national parks, historic sites, buildings and monuments. He was the author of "White Heritage So Rich" and "The New City."

Mr. Henderson had a permanent home in Washington until 1969, when he moved to West Chatham, Mass. He continued to maintain an apartment in Washington for his frequent visits here on business matters.

He is survived by his wife, Lora Jean, of the homes; a son, Christopher Llewellyn Henderson, of Arlington, and a daughtet, Winifred Button, of San Diego, Calif.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the Laurence G. Memorial Fund at Mt. Pleasant Hospital. Lynn, Mass.