New homes for Western Harbour

Posted on 06/08/2014 by

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Housing Minister hails nearly 100 new homes for rent in Leith

leith housingNearly 100 new affordable homes are to be built at Western Harbour in Leith through the ground-breaking National Housing Trust initiative (NHT), the Housing Minister has revealed.

Margaret Burgess made the announcement during a visit to Scotland’s largest NHT development in Edinburgh this morning.

The recently completed 145 home development at Salamander Place marks the completion of all 422 homes built under the first round of NHT procurement in the Capital.

Mrs Burgess said: “I am delighted to announce the latest deal under the National Housing Trust initiative, which will deliver 94 brand new and affordable homes to rent in Edinburgh.

“Developments such as the one planned for Western Harbour, and the new 145 home development at Salamander Place, not only provide a boost for our construction sector and wider economy, but also offer people and families the chance to rent a new home at affordable rates.

“I have met NHT tenants all over Scotland and have heard how delighted they are with their new, high quality homes.

“NHT continues to go from strength to strength. The initiative is on track to deliver over 2,000 much needed new homes in communities across the country – all for very little taxpayers’ money.

“Despite Westminster’s cuts to our capital budget the Scottish Government is doing everything possible to stimulate growth, maximise our investment in housing and deliver on our target of 30,000 new, affordable homes over the lifetime of this Parliament.”

The original NHT model allows developers and councils to jointly fund the purchase of new homes, with local authority loans to the initiative being underwritten by the Scottish Government.

Under the original NHT model, homes are available for rent at below market rates for five to 10 years before being sold, with tenants being given priority to buy at the end of the rental period.

NHT logoCouncillor Cammy Day, Housing Leader for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “This new development at Salamander Place is an excellent example of how the Council is supporting housing developers to turn derelict sites into modern new build homes for rent at affordable prices. The Council provided over £15m in loan funding for these homes and is committed to securing more developments like this.”

Stuart Paterson, Chief Financial Officer of Forth Ports Limited, on whose land the new NHT development at Western Harbour would be located, said: “We are pleased to be partnering with the City of Edinburgh Council, the Scottish Futures Trust and the Scottish Government in this NHT initiative at Western Harbour.

“Whilst we are a port operator first and foremost, when this was brought to us by Rettie & Co, who helped co-ordinate the deal, we saw an opportunity to help towards the regeneration of the community by providing more housing in the Leith area. Other areas around the Port of Leith, including Britannia Quay, are and will remain operational land.”

Angela Linton, Chief Executive of Hillcrest Group, the Housing Association that manages the Salamander Place development, said: “The NHT model allows us to market a different tenure of housing to the traditional affordable properties offered by Hillcrest Housing Association.

“Through Northern Housing Company, part of the Hillcrest Group, we have delivered mid-market rent properties, making a much needed injection of housing at this level.

“Many people find themselves not qualifying for affordable housing but at the same time not being able to afford the private market, so we are grateful for the Scottish Government support which helps us to deliver this project at Salamander Place.”

Christa Reekie, Commercial Director at the Scottish Futures Trust, said: “SFT’s work in developing and managing the innovative NHT programme is helping to deliver affordable rented housing in areas where there is a shortage.

“The City of Edinburgh Council has fully embraced the NHT initiative and so far has over 420 NHT homes across five sites in the City, with the construction of an additional 94 homes starting soon. The Salamander Place site is the largest across the whole of Scotland and reflects the huge positive impact the NHT programme is having on people’s lives.”

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