Elderpark Housing Association

A community in Govan

Elderpark Housing Association is dedicated to building a safe, secure, and thriving community for the people of Greater Govan in Glasgow. The main barrier to cycling for residents was a lack of secure bike storage available at their tenement flats. Parents were often reluctant to let their kids ride bikes around the neighbourhood as they couldn’t fully supervise them, since they didn’t own a bike themselves.

Secure storage for bikes

In September 2019, the organisation successfully secured £25,000 to install secure cycle parking for the 2,700 residents living across their properties in Govan, through the Social Housing Partnership Fund. This has given people a secure place to store their bikes and has provided an opportunity for many parents to purchase a bike to cycle with their children, since the barrier of safe storage has been tackled.

Jim Fraser, Estate Management Inspector at Elderpark Housing Association, says that the funding has helped to improve the lives of tenants: “Govan is well established as an area of high deprivation in Glasgow, and residents can often be found to have low household income and higher levels of household debt. This can impact greatly on people’s ability to access public transport beyond a limited geographical area and frequency due to a lack of money.

“The grant award from Cycling Scotland’s Social Housing Fund has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to give our residents safe, secure onsite storage, further promoting cycling as an activity that is good for health and emotional wellbeing and encouraging residents to travel in an environmentally friendly and relatively affordable way.”

Happier and healthier residents

Residents of all ages have expressed their appreciation for the new facilities. One elderly lady was happy to report that her and her husband go out for a cycle much more regularly, as they can now store their bikes on the ground floor and no longer need to carry them up and down stairs.

A young mother told us that having the secure bike storage has made a huge difference for her children. Previously, she kept their bikes in her third floor flat and could only take her kids to the park when her partner was home to help carry the bikes downstairs. Now, she has been able to buy her own bike as there is somewhere safe and easily accessible to store it, and can take her children to the park whenever they want.

Working with Cycling Scotland

Jim had positive things to say about leading on this project with the help of our team: “Working with Cycling Scotland on securing this funding was a simple and straightforward process, and they were always on hand for support or advice if I had any questions.”

When asked if he would recommend the Social Housing Partnership Fund, Jim said: “I would recommend all housing associations to engage with the fund. If an organisation has tenements or flats, improving facilities becomes a real benefit to both the residents and the housing association. Residents get the chance to own and store a bike safely, giving them a chance to improve their health and wellbeing; and the housing association can ease conflict over space and storage as often bikes, prams and mobility aids are stored inappropriately in stairwells and cause a safety hazard.”

The Social Housing Partnership Fund is open to all social housing providers in Scotland looking to improve cycling and walking facilities for their residents.