Edinburgh is a successful city. It has come through the recession better than other UK cites, and independent analysts predict that the economy of Edinburgh will continue to grow, create jobs and inward investment at a fast rate.
One of the greatest challenges facing me, as housing and regeneration leader, is to ensure that all our communities share in that success and that we build more affordable homes for rent and for sale for a growing population.
We are making good progress. In the last two years, the council and its partners doubled the number of affordable homes completing from 500 to 1000 homes a year. Across the city, another 1400 homes are being built on 24 sites, bringing investment, jobs and new energy efficient homes to communities. The council is delivering through its 21st Century Homes house building programme and is providing grants and loans to housing associations to build homes. All sections of the community are benefiting from this investment, with almost £100 million in loan funding committed to building good quality rented homes for working households.
Homes are being built on brownfield sites, reducing the pressure on the Edinburgh greenbelt.
One of the largest housing-led regeneration projects in Scotland is now under way in Pennywell and Muirhouse, with 34 council homes under construction.
Houses and flats will be available for rent later this year, with the council piloting a co-operative approach to the management of the homes. Over the next ten years, 715 homes will be built, transforming the Muirhouse and West Pilton area.
The £80m investment will deliver modern, cheap-to-heat homes for rent and sale, and high-quality public realm, including public park and play facilities. Investment in housing creates jobs and, through this contract, the council has secured a minimum of 36 apprenticeships and 24 new-entrant construction jobs, plus additional work placements and support for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Housing development at Pennywell, along with a new school at Craigroyston High, the planned NHS facility and investment in the adjoining Waterfront area are all transforming the north of the city. The importance of working with the community to deliver this transformation cannot be underestimated. It is people who know what is needed and their involvement will ensure long-term success.
Councillor Cammy Day is the city’s housing and regeneration leader