Maureen closes the door on 35 year housing career

An Ardenglen Housing Association board member is stepping down after 35 year’s continuous service.

Maureen Cope first took the chair’s role at the newly formed Castle Brae Co-operative in 1989 and continued in that role when they merged with Ardenglen in 1995.

She served as chair for 20 years and has now decided to step down completely. 

‘In the early days as associations were taking on housing stock transfers from the Council the challenges were huge. We had 70% voids when we took over, we had to demolish a lot of the existing tenemental stock that were originally built in the 1950’s and replaced them with new houses, said Maureen.

‘It was purely down to the will of local people’s involvement in the association that we succeeded and thrived.’

Maureen said the area was unrecognisable from when she first started.

‘The biggest thing I’ve noticed in all the years I’ve been involved is the reduction in crime and I think that is directly related to the housing improvements we’ve achieved in the area. As social housing has improved it has attracted more private sector investment and there is now a much greater sense of pride in the area. 

‘I’ve lived in the area for 68 years I’ve seen change for the better. Better housing, better facilities but there is still much to do there is a dire need for a supermarket locally, this must be the largest community in the country without easy access to a supermarket.’

Ardenglen’s vision is to transform communities by providing quality homes and services, an aspiration that saw it crowned Housing Association of the Year recently.

‘In the beginning if you said your address was Castlemilk, then that had a stigma, I’m not sure that is the case anymore. People are proud of the area now.

‘I’ve enjoyed my experience because I always felt I was doing something to improve the community here. Working to give people a decent house to live in and ensuring that the kids were brought up in a safe environment, that’s always been my motivation.’

Ardenglen manages around 1000 houses in the south of Glasgow.

Chief Executive David Byfield said:

‘Maureen’s service in making this a better housing association, and her wider drive to improve the sense of community here, has made a huge difference to the quality of life of everyone in the area and she will be a sorely missed colleague.’

Watch our interview with Maureen on youtube in the link below