Supporting residents in social housing to walk and cycle

Cycling and walking 2

Kath Brough encourages social housing providers to apply for a fund that will support walking and cycling

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27th May 2019 by TFN Guest 0 Comments

Last month, Cycling Scotland opened applications to the new Social Housing Fund for Improved Walking and Cycling Facilities. The fund aims to make cycling and walking more accessible for people living in social housing by providing £25,000 for facilities that will support active travel.

The Social Housing Fund is a partnership project between the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, Cycling Scotland, Living Streets Scotland and Sustrans Scotland. We’re working together to support residents living in social housing to walk and cycle more often. The fund prioritises areas of high deprivation and aims to make walking and cycling a natural option for everyday journeys to work, to access local services, to the shops and to see family and friends. 

Both walking and cycling can have big impacts on physical health and mental wellbeing, encouraging residents to live healthier lifestyles, connecting people to the communities where they live, building relationships with those around them and overcoming isolation and loneliness. By working in areas of high deprivation, the fund aims to reduce health inequalities and make it easier for residents, especially older people, people with disabilities and those living on low incomes, to access jobs, services and leisure activities in their local area.

Kath Brough

Kath Brough

We’re working together to support residents living in social housing to walk and cycle more often

The fund will cover a range of options to make spaces more accessible for walking, cycling and spending time. These new facilities range from installing or upgrading bike shelters, improving seating or other street furniture to providing more litter bins, bollards and planters as well as lighting and improvements to access points. We’re hoping that these improved facilities will not only encourage residents, tenants and housing staff to get active and enjoy the outside space but to also spend time and connect with others in their community. From a safety perspective, improving facilities such as storage spaces for bikes will help to make properties safer, ensuring that in the past where bikes are left in passageways or the bottom of tenement closes, routes will now be clear and accessible for residents.

If you’re a social housing provider in Scotland keen to promote walking and cycling for your residents, and are working particularly in areas of high deprivation, I’d highly encourage you to apply to the fund. Social housing providers can apply for grants of up to £25,000 per locality, a great opportunity for landlords with one site or multiple.

Applications for the fund close at 5pm on Friday, 31 May so there is still time to apply to the fund.

With May being National Walking Month and last week marking Mental Health Awareness Week, this is an ideal opportunity to encourage activities that support physical health and good mental wellbeing.

You can visit www.cycling.scot/socialhousingfund to download the guidance pack or feel free to get in touch by emailing [email protected] or call 0141 229 5350 – the Cycling Scotland team will be happy to answer any questions you have.

  • Kath Brough is head of behaviour change at Cycling Scotland.