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Edinburgh mulls over groundbreaking rental move

Words: Roger Milne

Edinburgh City Council is set to become the first local authority in Scotland to move into the private landlord sector, building up to 1,000 houses a year for commercial rent.

The city council plans to set up an arm’s-length company called Edinburgh Homes and plough profits reaped from the rents back into council services.

City chiefs say a lack of house building by the private sector has led to a major shortage of housing, which has in turn forced up the cost of buying or renting a home in the capital.

Under this initiative, Edinburgh Homes would attract private investment to fund new developments, contracts would be awarded to construction firms to build the homes, and Edinburgh Homes would then let, manage and maintain them.

The first few of the council’s new private rented homes are expected to be built at a site already earmarked for development at Fountainbridge, where they would be located alongside new affordable homes.

Housing convenor Cammy Day said: “We are a growing city and meeting the need for new, good-quality, good-value homes across all tenures is a top priority for this council.

“Edinburgh is an attractive and desirable city, but people wanting to live here can find themselves priced out of the market. Setting up Edinburgh Homes would provide much-needed housing and also bring much-needed investment into the city.”