Affordable homes boost for Edinburgh city centre

The City of Edinburgh Council 's housing leader has welcomed news that 174 affordable homes are going to be built in the city centre.

The announcement was made by Hillcrest Housing Association who today (January 25) took ownership of a site within the prestigious Quartermile development in Edinburgh.

Hillcrest is the preferred partner to deliver much needed affordable housing at the redevelopment of the former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on Lauriston Place , helping to relieve the pressure on the city's housing market.

Councillor Paul Edie said: "It's great that our partnership with Hillcrest Housing Association will result in 174 affordable homes being built right in the heart of the city. There is a desperate shortage of affordable housing in the Capital with an estimated 15,800 affordable homes needed over the next ten years.

"Many people cannot afford to get on the property ladder but developments like these, where properties are available for social and mid market rent, represent a lifeline to them. It will also provide a boost for the construction industry and local businesses in the area."

Housing Minister Alex Neil said: "I am delighted to hear that Hillcrest is due to soon start on site on the Quartermile development in Edinburgh . This is a landmark site in the city and has been delivered through the successful application of the council's affordable housing policy.

"Hillcrest's innovative approach to financing this project, using funding provided from the Scottish Government's Affordable Housing Investment Programme, has allowed this landmark development to happen."

Emma Hutchison, Hillcrest Business Development Manager, said: "We are delighted to finally be at this stage. It has been an extremely challenging project which at times looked like it wouldn't go ahead. It is only through the perseverance and flexibility of Hillcrest staff and management committee together with the support of the City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government that we signed the contracts enabling us to start on site."

Hillcrest's development, which will take around 30 months to complete, includes 174 affordable housing units, containing 98 for social rent and 76 for mid market rent.

Emma Hutchison added: "We are providing a range of affordable housing accommodation which includes wheelchair accessible and elderly amenity flats.  We are also providing larger sized family homes with dedicated terraced spaces which will benefit from magnificent views including Edinburgh Castle and the Meadows.

"This is a milestone project for Hillcrest, being our largest single-phased development to date. The City of Edinburgh Council - backed by Scottish Government - is our funding partner in this project with almost £7m of public investment being allocated.

"It is only through an innovative approach to funding that the development has been made possible. The remainder of the funding, in the region of £17m, is being privately financed by Hillcrest."

Hillcrest's affordable housing is being delivered through a section 75 agreement set out when Gladedale got planning permission for the Quartermile development. 

The Quartermile development will include over 900 private apartments for sale, over 30,000 sq m of new office accommodation, over 10,000 sq m of retail and leisure space and 7 acres of open landscaping.

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