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Social Housing Partnership Fund progress report

The Social Housing Partnership Fund (SHPF) offers grants to social housing providers (SHPs) to improve cycle parking, storage, shelter and security at their properties.

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In 2019, SFHA launched a new fund in partnership with Cycling Scotland, Living Streets and Sustrans to make it easier for residents living in social housing to walk, cycle and wheel.

The Social Housing Partnership Fund (SHPF) offers grants to social housing providers (SHPs) to improve cycle parking, storage, shelter and security at their properties. It also funds street furniture, planters and community gardens. The grant fund is delivered by Cycling Scotland, on behalf of the wider partnership which includes the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, Sustrans Scotland and Living Streets Scotland and is financed by Transport Scotland grant funding. The SHPF prioritises support for social housing in areas experiencing high levels of deprivation.

The SHPF was intended as a catalyst to improve limited existing cycling facilities within social housing and to address a current priority to remove cycles stored in common spaces to improve fire safety. It was the first active grant funding aimed specifically for this setting. The facilities funded are intended to contribute to reducing residents’ barriers to cycling and active travel and to enhance wellbeing. Funders hope it will encourage ongoing support for active travel amongst SHPs, planners and developers. A further objective is to strengthen relationships between SHPs and active travel partners.

Both rounds of the SHPF have been substantially oversubscribed. There
are 128 eligible SHPs in Scotland. The first round provided funding for 46 projects from 33 of the 38 SHPs who applied. The projects have enhanced cycle storage and associated facilities in 116 social housing sites within areas of high deprivation.

The SHPF funded projects across Scotland in city, town, rural and island locations. The SHPF was perceived as straightforward and well managed by applicants. Most SHPs were successful in all or part of their applications or were referred elsewhere for more suitable funding.

Cycling Scotland and partners provided substantial support to SHPs to enhance initial bids. Early feedback suggests the fund has:
• increased the reach of active travel programmes into the social housing sector
• ensured facility funding is inclusive of those in socially disadvantaged areas
• helped build capabilities for procuring and installing cycling infrastructure and promoting active travel in the social
housing sector.

Projects seem well aligned with other health and environmental agendas.
Virtually all facility improvements should be in place by August 2020. Evidence of facility use is available in a few case studies but not across
all sites as yet.

Looking to the future

Projects intend to use different approaches to encourage facility use and active travel. This offers opportunities to tailor monitoring and evaluation
to produce learning about what does and doesn’t work in particular contexts.

Areas for improvement include more realistic timescales for procurement, delivery and installation and enhanced approaches to monitoring and evaluation.

You can read the full progress report on Cycling Scotland's website.

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