HUNDREDS of affordable homes will be built on vacant sites across the Capital including the Waterfront and former school campuses.
The £50 million project means the size of the city’s 21st Century Homes scheme – currently building 1400 private and affordable properties at six locations in Edinburgh – is set to increase by more than a quarter.
Craigmillar is among the areas earmarked for a swathe of new affordable properties although development sites have not been formally confirmed.
Development at the Waterfront is long overdue after plans to create 30,000 properties were shelved in the wake of the credit crunch and the decision to abandon the tram line to Leith.
It is thought the house-building project will be completed within the next five years and will help to reduce the pressure on the housing stock.
Currently, there are more than 130 applications for every council house that becomes available.
At least 700 jobs will be created with several Lothian firms benefiting from lucrative building contracts.
Housing leader Cllr Cammy Day said the project would not only create hundreds of jobs but bring around £85 million to the Edinburgh economy. And he said the move would help “regenerate the Waterfront”.
“We need to build around 1600 affordable homes a year to meet demand and for every council house there are more than 100 bids,” he said.
If approved, the homes would be funded through a range of options, including rental income, borrowed capital and Scottish Government grant funding.
Cllr Day said he was confident the works would help revitalise large areas of north Edinburgh, as well as districts across the Capital.
“There are a number of sites where we’re looking to expand 21st Century Homes – within the next year we will hopefully have Sighthill on site,” he said.
“This is to find room for another 400 homes on brownfield sites – there is space in Craigmillar, land in the Waterfront area, and on old school sites.
“One of the main sites on the Waterfront was put up for sale and there were four bids, and we think we can complement that.
“It will help regenerate the Waterfront.”
He added: “If there’s an opportunity for us to help regenerate the north then we will but that is just one part of the city.
“It’s brilliant to have another 400 homes added to address the housing shortage across the city.”
Housing campaigners have hailed the boost as an important step towards ensuring all the city’s residents have good access to affordable homes.
Betty Stevenson, convener of Edinburgh Tenants Federation, said: “It’s very welcome because of the severe shortage of housing throughout the city.”