Edinburgh unlocks £2.5bn housing investment with new three-year budget
The City of Edinburgh Council has paved the way for record investment in affordable homes with the setting of a new three-year budget.
The council will make required savings of £35 million over the next 12 months and planned savings of around £87m over the next three years, while targeting spend and policies to be fair on people and planet.
In response to public consultation, the package of spending of over £1 billion forms part of the capital’s Change Strategy approved by councillors yesterday. It details six programmes with practical steps, each designed to prioritise the wellbeing and life chances of all residents and accelerate action to address climate change.
On housing, £2.5bn of investment has been unlocked to work with housing associations to provide more and better council homes as part of a longer-term commitment to construct 20,000 affordable new homes by 2027.
At the same time, the local authority will continue to invest in current council homes and services to reduce tenants’ living costs through initiatives to reduce energy costs and its carbon footprint.
Key sites will be redeveloped such as Granton Waterfront, which will receive around £196m in council funding to support the delivery of affordable, eco-friendly homes, attracting £450m additional public and private sector funding to create a vibrant and inclusive coastal community
Additional funding of £2m will also provide more appropriate temporary accommodation whilst enhancing early intervention and prevention initiatives.
The budget will also increase the council’s spend on health and social care services by over £8m to a total £226m, supporting the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board’s work to drive down delayed discharges to successfully get people home or into a safe and homely setting, sooner.
An investment of £2m will be made in mental health and counselling services for young people, as well as a continuing investment of £3.5m in the Communities and Families grant programme, with an emphasis on youth work, promoting well-being and supporting personal and social development.
Council leader Cllr Adam McVey said: “We’ve agreed a bold budget which protects the most vulnerable in society and guarantees a fairer quality of life for future generations. It prioritises those council services which work to help those who are most in need of our support - protecting our young people, our communities and our planet in the process.
“In the face of growth and a global climate emergency, we’ve outlined plans for the biggest investment ever to be made into new, sustainable and affordable homes in Edinburgh.
“The people of Edinburgh have told us they want their city to be sustainable, to be fair and for frontline services to be protected. That is what we are delivering with a budget which invests in the services our city needs. I’d like to thank fellow councillors for standing up for a plan which is fair and sustainable.”
Cllr Cammy Day, depute leader, said: “The plans passed today support new schools, sustainability and the regeneration of this city and I’m pleased we’ve been able to – yet again – agree a balanced budget, despite the ongoing financial uncertainty we and all local authorities face. This forward-thinking approach will provide much greater certainty to residents, to workers and to partners right across the city and will help us tackle poverty in all its forms.
“Under today’s budget, this council is committing to do all that we can with the resources we have to improve residents’ lives and protect those services which are vital to our most vulnerable citizens. This will be supported by the thousands of new, affordable homes we’ll help to build and the community regeneration we’ve pledged to deliver. For too long we’ve turned our back on our fantastic waterfronts and this budget plan will allow us to move forward with our plans to regenerate Granton, providing new homes and a fantastic community for people to work and visit.”