Edinburgh council to become private landlord
City of Edinburgh Council is set to become the first local authority in Scotland to become a private landlord if plans currently under consideration go ahead.
The local authority is planning to create an arm’s-length company called Edinburgh Homes, which will attract private investment to fund new housing developments in the Scottish capital, which Edinburgh Homes would then let, manage and maintain.
The council’s health, social care and housing committee will explore the possibility of introducing the scheme next week. A report to be considered by the committee says that housebuilding “has failed to keep pace with demand” since the 1970s, and the new Edinburgh Homes company could serve a role in building “good quality, well managed homes to rent in the city”.
The initiative is reportedly similar to a scheme launched by Manchester Council.
The first homes under the scheme are expected to be built at a site at Fountainbridge alongside a separate development of new affordable homes.
Cllr Cammy Day, vice-convenor of the health, social care and housing committee, told The Scotsman: “We recognise there is a market in the private-rented sector that will bring in income for the city. The private sector is not building very much, so we can get into that, build some more houses, and recycle money back into the council.
“We would aim for about 1,000 a year.
“It has been done elsewhere and it seems to work well. It will make a profit for the council which will be reinvested into council services.”