Edinburgh leads the way in affordable housing
Published Wednesday 4 July 2012
The City of Edinburgh's strategy on improving access to good quality homes in the city has been recognised by separate industry awards ceremonies.
Two projects by Dunedin Canmore Housing Association, which were funded by the Council, picked up top awards - a development of new affordable homes, and environmental improvements at homes for older people.
There was also praise for how the Council deals with the planning aspects of affordable housing and two separate schemes that help homeless people with private rented accommodation. Further recognition was received for Dunedin Canmore's Springfield development, which was awarded 'apartment of the year' and had financial backing from the Council.
Councillor Cammy Day, the city's housing leader, said: "I'm really pleased to see that Edinburgh's strategy is now starting to receive the recognition it deserves, and much of the credit should go to the excellent partnership between Council staff, housing associations and private developers.
"Affordable housing is a huge priority for us, as we need around 16,000 new homes over the next 10 years. On average, 130 households bid for every affordable home that becomes available for let by the Council or a housing association.
"Meanwhile, Edinburgh is still growing and house prices remain high. There is much to be proud of, as these awards show, but there is still a lot of work to do. That's why our 'contract with the capital' includes several pledges on housing, including development on brownfield sites, pressing the Government to release more funds for rented homes, and bringing empty homes into use."
In 2011/12 the Council approved 1,500 affordable homes for work to begin on site, adding to the 1,300 already under construction. Affordable housing development in Edinburgh will generate £296 million in investment and support around 2,000 jobs in construction & related industries.
The details of the short-listed and award-winning initiatives are:
Scottish Home Awards
- Dunedin Canmore Housing Association (a key strategic partner of the Council) won a "Large Affordable Housing Development of the Year" award for its development of 190 affordable homes at Westfield, Edinburgh. This is the largest affordable housing project ever supported by the Council. The total development cost was £22.4m which includes £11m in grant funding and £11.4m in private finance raised by the housing association.
- Dunedin Canmore received a further Scottish Home award for environmental excellence at its "Quarries" development in South Edinburgh. This development of 58 homes for older people was developed on a previously contaminated Council site in a regeneration area. All flats are wheelchair adaptable and designed to a high building standard and are adaptable to the needs of the tenants. It features a secure central courtyard garden with private drying areas, raised allotment planters, exercise equipment, sensory planting, trees, shrubs and a wildlife pond. The building is designed to be highly energy efficient which will enable the heating and power costs for tenants to be kept to a minimum.
- The Council was short listed for a national award for Quality in Planning for its approach to delivery of affordable housing. The Council's joined-up and flexible approach has seen affordable housing become the catalyst for construction. Developers have been able to secure their planning permissions and keep their workforce building through the downturn, whilst delivering much needed affordable homes.
- Springfield Properties won apartment of the year award for Brunstane Court. The Council supported this project through the provision of a rental guarantee to Dunedin Canmore Housing Association. This meant that Dunedin Canmore was able to enter into a contract with Springfield to purchase some of the homes. This helped Dunedin Canmore and Springfield to secure private funding to build the homes.
UK Housing awardsThe Council-commissioned Letfirst scheme, run by Orchard and Shipman, won the innovation of the year award at the UK Housing Awards 2012. Letfirst helps those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to move into accommodation in the private rented sector. The contract was tendered by the council in 2008 and has been run by Orchard and Shipman since then.
The Council and Link Group Limited were finalists in the Partnership of the Year category for the Private Sector Leasing scheme which provides accommodation for homeless households.