Edinburgh's housing crisis won't be solved by councillors like Ross McKenzie who regard private housebuilders as 'spivs and speculators' – John McLellan

Isn’t Edinburgh Council lucky to have such a balanced, open-minded councillor like Ross McKenzie to help guide the city as it faces the huge challenge of tackling the acute housing shortage.

Councillor Ross McKenzie's views of private housebuilders help no one
Councillor Ross McKenzie's views of private housebuilders help no one

In Councillor McKenzie’s world, according to his finely nuanced letter in Monday’s paper, private housebuilders are “spivs and speculators” and people like me who support economic development must have “developer pals”. Social housing has apparently been “destroyed by free market fundamentalists” and “rapacious profiteering”. Wow. I must have missed that in my five years on the housing committee.

Baby-eating capitalists like the Wheatley Group, perhaps? The organisation which runs social housing in Glasgow and is building 168 homes for social rent and 132 for mid-market rent at West Craigs?

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Or those evil swine, Harbour Homes, formerly Port of Leith Housing Association, using private capital to build 96 flats for social rent and 130 mid-market at Granton Harbour? Or Link, building affordable homes for rent in South Queensferry while sitting down with those brutes at Cala to provide affordable homes in Bruntsfield? Despicable, the lot of them.

And what were those neo-conservatives in the Scottish Government thinking with this planning advice? “Build-to-rent offers significant opportunities to complement existing housing delivery models and help to increase the overall rate of delivery of housing,” they say.

Meanwhile, council tenants in the Muirhouse high flats wonder if the damp will ever be eradicated and Moredun residents wait for the local authority’s next attempt to dig up their park. Power to the people, comrades.