Council’s 20,000 affordable homes strategy to leave Edinburgh with £77m funding deficit

The City of Edinburgh Council’s plans to build 20,000 new affordable homes in the Scottish capital now face a funding black hole of £77m.

The authority’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP), announced this time last year, is to deliver 20,000 affordable homes over the next 10 years in what is the council’s biggest ever housing plan.

The city council’s housing and economy committee has, in its latest board meeting papers, now approved plans to speed up its plan for affordable housing by setting out the delivery of over 10,500 new homes over the next five years, but this will leave it with a £77m funding deficit to fill.

This is a £20m increase on the reported £57m shortfall from last year’s SHIP, which the council says is down to the “acceleration towards the 20,000 homes target.”

In the full meeting papers, Edinburgh council says that SHIP 2019-24 has identified a pipeline of 7,075 affordable homes and 10,569 completions, with the majority due to be built in the first three years.

When the SHIP plan was originally announced, Cllr Gavin Barrie, the convener of housing and economy, called it “one of the most ambitious housing plans in the United Kingdom,” and said that through partnerships and award-wining housing development, the work was already well underway to achieve their commitments.

The SHIP is reviewed annually, and one year on from its announcement, the local authority says SHIP will be increased to meet the 20,000 target as “confidence in the development pipeline grows” and that the acceleration of its project is due to “greater levels of certainty around delivery timescales.”

Three quarters of the AHSP approvals are for social rental homes, with the remaining split between mid-market rent and low-cost home ownership (3%), in line with the government’s targets for delivery of social rented homes.

Oppositional councillors say that even meeting the 20,000 target will not be enough to meet the rising demand for houses and affordable homes in the capital.

In September, the city council announced a consultation on four-year plans to tackle a reported funding blackhole of £106m as it looked to make £30m in savings in 2019-20 alone.


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