Collaborative approach brings high quality affordable homes to North Edinburgh
Edinburgh, Tuesday 12 January 2010; Alex Neil, Minister for Housing and Communities, joined community and economic development leaders today to celebrate the completion of Forthquarter, a 150 unit mixed tenure housing development that forms part of the regeneration of North Edinburgh linking Edinburgh’s Waterfront development to the local regeneration of Pennywell.
The £18 million scheme, comprising ninety flats for social rent and a further sixty apartments sold on a shared equity basis, was made possible through a unique collaborative arrangement involving prominent housing organisations, City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government.
ForthQuarter makes a significant contribution to meeting the city’s demand for affordable housing. All the homes have been built with the same high quality build and design specifications which has made the development very popular. The development originally started on site in June 2007 and, although a fire destroyed the timber frame superstructure in May 2008, works completed on schedule in October 2009.
At a special ceremony co-hosted by Places for People, West Granton Housing Co-operative, Dunedin Canmore Housing Association and Lothian Homes, the minister joined by local councillors and members of the community in a tree planting ceremony before touring some of the newly occupied homes.
Housing and Communities Minister Alex Neil said:
“The Scottish Government is committed to increasing the number of affordable homes across Scotland and this year over £44m will directly support the affordable housing sector in Edinburgh.
“The Forthquarter development, with 150 new homes, will benefit people looking for high quality, low-cost homes to buy or rent in the city and it is good news that – with the help of the Scottish Government’s Shared Equity scheme – 60 homes have now been sold to people on low-incomes.
“The project received £8 million of government funding and I’m delighted to meet some of the new residents who are already benefiting from their new homes.”
Councillor Paul Edie, Housing Leader for the City of Edinburgh Council, welcomes the mixed tenure development at Granton Waterfront.
He said: “It is widely known that Edinburgh suffers from an acute lack of affordable homes and it is important that the Council, along with its partners in the housing arena, work together to boost the housing market.
“This year has seen a record number for affordable housing completions in the Capital and this development is a great example of partnership working. By supporting our Housing Association partners, the City of Edinburgh Council has helped to deliver much needed affordable rented and shared ownership homes. Forthquarter helps the regeneration of the waterfront area and includes 16 homes which are fully wheelchair accessible.”
This has been Edinburgh’s largest new build shared equity project to date developed through the Scottish Government’s LIFT programme. All properties were sold by the end of December 2009 highlighting the success of both the development and shared equity in difficult market conditions.
Commenting on the success of the Forthquarter project, Alister Steele of the developing agent Places for People and its subsidiary Lothian Homes which managed the shared equity sales said;
“Forthquarter not only makes a significant contribution to the supply of affordable housing in the city and the regeneration of the Waterfront but it has given a number of individuals and families the opportunity to buy high quality homes at an affordable cost. The development demonstrates the positive impact of Government intervention in the housing market.”
Ewan Fraser, chief executive of Dunedin Canmore said;
“This project has shown that by working together we can make a positive impact in providing good quality affordable housing and increasing choice for local residents”.
Lorna Brown, Chair of West Granton Housing Co-operative said:
“We are really pleased to complete our first 45 units in the Waterfront. Adding these to our 335 houses and flats in West Granton and West Pilton will help to link existing and new communities in the local area as well as providing more much needed affordable rented housing.”
Construction of the properties was carried out by Hart Builders on a design and build basis.