New funding scheme to stimulate economic growth

The City of Edinburgh Council has been granted the power to borrow up to £21 million by the Scottish Government to help build up to 160 affordable homes in the city.

The loan facility will be used to lend funds to local housing associations and their subsidiaries, which will then develop sites and the completed homes at affordable mid-market rents.

Meanwhile, the award-winning National Housing Trust initiative, which was the first guarantee-based model for housing in the UK, has been hailed a success in Edinburgh.

Councillor Cammy Day, housing leader for the City of Edinburgh Council said: "Housing associations make a major contribution to building new affordable homes in the city. Recognising this the Council has made up to £21 million available to provide additional funding for them through the On Lending initiative.

"I would encourage every housing association to consider how they could best use this funding to build more affordable homes."

He added: "The Council has also made £55 million available through the National Housing Trust which has led to commitments to build 422 new affordable homes.

“These new investment initiatives have been developed in partnership with the Scottish Government, housing associations, developers and house builders. They show the strength of the Council's commitment to working jointly with all our partners."

Visiting an NHT development in Edinburgh delivered by Places for People, Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said: “A vibrant, expanding housing sector can stimulate economic growth by protecting and creating jobs and supporting regeneration.

“The Council, inspired by the National Housing Trust initiative, has devised a new local approach to meeting the demand for affordable homes through its On-lending to RSLs Funding Scheme, which will assist RSLs and their subsidiaries to deliver up to 160 additional affordable homes in the city.

“NHT was the first guarantee-based model for housing in the UK and is continuing to deliver homes across Scotland.  I am pleased to see that Places for People have completed the first NHT homes in Edinburgh. Over 200 more NHT homes will come off site and be available for let in the capital over the coming months with more to follow after that.

“It is encouraging to see that demand for the NHT homes has been very strong, with a significant proportion of those which are going to be available soon already pre-allocated.”

Colin Rae, Project Director at Places for People said: "We’re delighted to see families moving into our new Lighthouse Court development.

“We have been working with the NHT since the beginning as part of our development programme in Scotland, and it’s great to see it now coming to fruition. We look forward to our next NHT development at CityScape welcoming new families in April."  

Christa Reekie, commercial director at Scottish Futures Trust, said: “The NHT initiative is providing hundreds of people in the capital with high-quality homes at affordable rents.

"We are pleased with the high standards of the Cityscape development which has already attracted a lot of interest.”

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