Hundreds of affordable homes set for derelict Edinburgh site

Housing minister Kevin Stewart MSP (left) joins Colin Rae, group development director, Places for People on site at Shrubhill
Housing minister Kevin Stewart MSP (left) joins Colin Rae, group development director, Places for People on site at Shrubhill

Housing minister Kevin Stewart has marked the start of work on a new affordable housing development in Edinburgh today.

Mr Stewart joined representatives from City of Edinburgh Council and property developers Places for People, during his visit to the Shrubhill development which will provide 236 much needed affordable homes in the north of the city.

In total 374 homes will be built on the site, 150 of which will be National Housing Trust (NHT) homes. The innovative financing scheme, which is backed by government guarantees, has seen more than 2,000 affordable rented homes approved and more than 1,000 homes completed across Scotland since 2012.

Shrubhill is the latest of seven major sites in Edinburgh delivering almost 900 affordable homes unlocked for development through NHT.

Speaking ahead of his visit, Mr Stewart said: “This government is committed to delivering 50,000 more affordable homes over the next five years. Unique innovative financing schemes, such as NHT, play an important role in helping us deliver this major expansion in housing supply – supplementing delivery through conventional programmes which is backed up with investment of more than £3 billion.

“I am delighted to officially mark the start of work on the Shrubhill site. This development will not only regenerate an iconic site in the centre of Edinburgh, but will also provide hundreds more high quality affordable homes for the people of the city.”

Colin Rae, group development director at Places for People, said: “The redevelopment of Shrubhill will breathe new life into a brownfield site that has been neglected for many years. It is the only site of its type where NHT is delivered as part of a large scale city centre development and there is no doubt that the NHT initiative has indeed been instrumental in moving a scheme of this size forward. We are building a really special neighbourhood of high quality homes here, and the mixed tenure options available will open up opportunities for everyone to become part of a vibrant new city centre community.”

Christa Reekie, commercial director at the Scottish Futures Trust, which established and manages the NHT, said: “The NHT is a hugely popular, award-winning initiative which is making a real difference to the lives of many hundreds of people right across Scotland, who are now thanks to NHT, living in high quality, affordable-rent homes.”

Edinburgh’s housing leader, Councillor Cammy Day, added: “I’m pleased that partnership working and Council loans through the National Housing Trust will enable more than 370 new homes to be built at Shrubhill with over 60 per cent of them being affordable. The development is a major part of the regeneration of Leith Walk, bringing life back into an area that has lain derelict for many years. The council is supporting the development with almost £28 million of grant and loan funding. As part of its approved housing strategy the council and its housing association partners have agreed to build 16,000 affordable homes in the city over the next ten years.

“The council has established eight arms-length partnerships and approved around £100 million to support 8 brownfield regeneration projects and deliver nearly 1,000 mid rent homes under the NHT programme. Nearly half of all the homes built under the NHT in Scotland will be built in Edinburgh.”

Share icon
Share this article: