Around 1980 two of the blocks were transferred for use by students and the YMCA respectively. These happened to be the blocks closest to the front of the complex when approached from the city centre. Being nearest the bus stop, they were also easiest to locate for those who were new to the city, to Scotland, or to the UK as a whole – as many of the YMCA guests and college students were. Some blocks received coloured steel cladding at the same time. All occupied flats other than those in the two front blocks continued to house local-authority tenants.
Measures were introduced in the 1980s which gave residents increased protection. These included the control of access through the communal entrance doors by means of RFID keys and intercoms, and the installation of round-the-clock concierge facilities. From their station by the entrance, the concierge’s surveyed live CCTV footage, took phone calls from residents, and answered queries from the general public. They ensured that the lifts were clean and that people felt safe. The level of antisocial crime fell dramatically.