Further National Housing Trust boost for the city

Another 89 affordable homes are to be built in Edinburgh under the National Housing Trust (NHT) initiative.

Developer Miller Homes will deliver the homes for mid market rent on the site known as Telford North off Crewe Road North.

The City of Edinburgh Council is still in discussions with other developers about further affordable homes.This is the second contract signed in Edinburgh under the NHT initiative after Places for People agreed in August to deliver 188 homes in Lochend North and Madelvic 8.

The 126 homes in Lochend represent the largest contract signed to date between a developer, Scottish Futures Trust and a local authority.

The innovative National Housing Trust initiative is being led by the Scottish Government and Scottish Futures Trust in order to provide a major expansion in the provision of affordable rented homes across the country.

Today's announcement of the Miller Homes contract comes as the Scottish Government launches Phase 2 of the NHT scheme which builds on an initiative in Edinburgh between the Council and housing associations in the city which has already delivered new affordable homes.

The money borrowed by the Council to help fund the purchase of homes under the initiative will be underwritten by the Scottish Government.

Councillor Paul Edie, Housing Leader for the City of Edinburgh Council , said: "I'm delighted that Edinburgh has secured another contract for building more affordable homes in the Capital.

"The National Housing Trust initiative is an innovative way of tackling the shortage of affordable homes in Edinburgh and I am really excited with this new partnership with Miller Homes.

"This will bring forward another significant housing development in the city - just one of a number of innovative ways we have been increasing the number of badly-needed homes in the city.

" Edinburgh needs to build 16,600 affordable homes over the next ten years of  which 4,000 would be mid market rent. The National Housing Trust model will help towards satisfying that demand and as such the Council welcome Phase 2 of the NHT. "

Housing Minister Keith Brown launched the second phase of the programme as he congratulated Miller Homes on the signing of contracts to build 89 new NHT homes in Edinburgh as part of Phase one.

He said: "I have been delighted to see the huge success of our innovative National Housing Trust initiative and am pleased to announce that we will now build on that success by expanding the scheme.

"It is great to see developers like Miller Homes embrace the opportunities offered under Phase one and the second round offers developers another opportunity to participate.

"This will not only provide hundreds of new affordable homes for families throughout Scotland , but will stimulate growth and support hundreds of new jobs in the construction sector and wider economy."

David Knight, Managing Director at Miller Homes , Scotland , said: "At such a challenging time for the public and private sectors, it is welcome that government recognises the important role that private sector companies, such as Miller Homes, can play in supporting local government meeting its obligations in terms of affordable housing.

"In addition to providing affordable rents for key workers, enabling them to live in the city, the initiative also safeguards employment within the housebuilding industry. Both of which provide the potential to deliver further economic benefits for Edinburgh."

Edinburgh is leading the way among Scottish local authorities taking part; aiming to secure much-needed affordable homes and boost the local economy. All the planned homes will be for intermediate rent.

The National Housing Trust will deliver new homes for mid market rent (starting rent levels will be set at around 84 per cent of March 2011 Local Housing Allowance rates) across the country.

The City of Edinburgh Council already supports a similar development guarantee scheme locally and this has already been successful at providing new affordable homes.

With the ongoing financial pressures on local authorities and Scottish Government budgets the National Housing Trust initiative is seen as a way of maintaining investment in affordable housing.

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