Green light for capital homes

The Scottish Government has given the go ahead for 80 new affordable homes in Edinburgh, part of almost 1,000 homes earmarked for sites across the city.

Homes delivered through the National Housing Trust initiative (NHT) offer affordable mid-market rents, helping tenants to save a toward purchasing a property.

Developed by the Scottish Government and Scottish Futures Trust, NHT is supported by a Scottish Government guarantee.

The development, on brownfield land at the former Fruitmarket, will also include Edinburgh West Retail Park and private housing, and contribute to the regeneration of the area.

The City of Edinburgh Council has approved loans of over £110 million for almost 1,000 NHT homes at nine Brownfield sites in the city, with four developments completed and another currently under construction.

Across Scotland, the NHT initiative is on track to deliver over 2,000 new homes, all without the need for grant subsidy.

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said:“This strategically important site in Edinburgh leads the way as the first development approved under the latest round of the National Housing Trust initiative (NHT).

“NHT is a pioneering example of creative working amongst the public, private and non-profit sectors.

“When complete, these 80 homes for mid-market rent will be a welcome addition to the supply of affordable housing in Edinburgh. Over 400 NHT homes have already been built with almost 600 more planned in the city.

“Housing is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s ambitions and we are on track to deliver our target of 30,000 new, affordable homes over the lifetime of this parliament.”

Edinburgh's housing leader Cllr Cammy Day said:"Edinburgh has a shortage of affordable housing and the National Housing Trust can enable new mid-market rent homes to be built, which will meet the needs of working households who can't afford to buy homes or to pay full market rents. A major part of the Council’s Capital Coalition commitment is to ensure that the city's residents are well housed and we will continue to invest in affordable homes.

“The new development at Fruitmarket will provide 80 much needed affordable homes. The Council has already provided loans of over £58 million for previous phases of National Housing Trust, enabling 422 affordable homes to be built at Telford Road, Lochend, Granton Waterfront and Salamander Place with another 96 new homes under construction at Western Harbour. This innovative way of providing quality affordable housing supports local jobs and the local economy.”

Christa Reekie, commercial director at SFT, said:“The City of Edinburgh Council has fully embraced the highly successful National Housing Trust initiative which SFT leads on, with contracts signed to build a total of 598 homes across 6 sites; 422 homes are already occupied.

“When tenants move into these affordable-rent homes, not only will their rent be lower, but also their energy bills will be dramatically reduced as the homes will be energy efficient.”

Harry O’Donnell, chairman, Chesser Developments Ltd said:“As well as having a positive housing impact on this site which has lain derelict for far too long, we also see a number of economic benefits coming from this project.

“Along with our contractor, Hart Builders, we will maximise employment opportunities for local people during the construction phase.

“In addition, the flats will be let to households on moderate incomes including key workers.”

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