A record number of affordable homes have been approved for construction this year by the City of Edinburgh Council.
In total 1,558 homes have been rubber-stamped for building which will lead to £296m of direct and indirect investment and support 2,180 jobs in the construction and related industries and services in Edinburgh.
The figures have been revealed in a new report – Strategic Housing Investment Plan 2012-17 – which sets out the Council’s affordable homes strategy for the next five years.
This is the first time that the number of approvals for affordable housing has almost matched the 1,660 homes needed every year in Edinburgh. In previous years the number of homes approved for construction has been around the 600 mark.
Housing Leader Councillor Paul Edie said: “This really is very exciting news for Edinburgh as we have never seen such a high figure of affordable homes being approved for construction in one year.
“And it’s not just those families who will be able to buy these homes that will benefit. The knock on effects linked to the construction will see over £100m pumped into the wider economy and thousands of jobs supported as a direct result.
“A great deal of praise must go to the Council’s housing team who have made full use of all the funding options available to us to achieve this significant milestone. Scottish Government schemes such as the National Housing Trust and Innovation and Investment Fund have been instrumental in helping us reach this year’s figure.
“But it’s important we do not rest on our laurels and we will continue to find new ways of funding more homes in years to come so the people of Edinburgh are not struggling to find affordable homes to live in.”
Scottish Governemnt Minister for Housing and Transport Keith Brown said: “It is encouraging to see the City of Edinburgh reach this milestone in affordable housing and fantastic to see the local authority’s commitment to making homes available and within the financial reach of those who need them.
“Housing remains a priority for the Scottish Government and we aim to deliver 30,000 affordable homes over the next five years.
“To this end, in the face of such massive economic strain, we continue to strive for creative and innovative approaches to provide homes and stimulate the economy.
“The City of Edinburgh Council has clearly seen the benefits of continuing to support the construction industry and invigorate the housing market.”