Edinburgh’s 10-year social housing investment plan is on track
The Edinburgh City Council remains on track and determined to deliver on its ambition of delivering 20,000 affordable housing units by 2027, despite the impact on affordable housing development following the global pandemic, a report revealed this week.
In his Report of the Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) 2022-2027 being presented to the Council’s Housing, Roaming and Fair Work Committee on November 4, Councilors will be asked to approve proposals before submitting them to the Council. Scottish government.
SHIP 2022-2027 highlights progress made, including the projection that 7,500 new affordable housing units will be approved by March 31, 2022 and 5,790 completed. There are currently over 2,100 homes under construction at 34 sites across the city.
A strong pipeline has also been identified of 11,118 affordable housing units that could be approved for site start-up and 10,124 potential completions by 2027.
Despite more than 18 months of disruption for the entire Scottish homebuilding industry, delivery of the intermediate milestone of 10,000 homes is expected to be reached midway through 2023. There are currently 25 projects. , equivalent to 1,456 approvals, which were delayed, mainly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 75% of these projects have just moved on to the following year.
This follows national pressure on the UK and Scottish housing construction industry. In the from the Scottish government âQuarterly Housing Statistics Update: September 2021,â it says that in June 2021, affordable housing approvals were down 36%, compared to the same period last year. Affordable housing completions are also down 5% year over year, but compared to 2019, there is a reduction of over 15%.
Additionally, as construction projects around the world have resumed after the pandemic, an increase in demand and prices for materials has been observed, which builds on pressures resulting from the UK’s exit from Europe. . The National Statistics Office predicts a 7-8% rise in material prices, with increases for some materials, such as lumber, expected to more than double over the year.
Councilor Kate Campbell, host of the housing, homelessness and fair work committee, said: âThere are extreme housing pressures in Edinburgh and a desperate need for more affordable housing. We are doing everything we can to advance our home building program so that our residents can have permanent homes that are energy efficient, safe and affordable. There are constraints, Brexit and Covid, which have had a severe impact on supply chains, material costs and the labor market, which are affecting housing construction across the UK.
“That said, the good news is that this is the largest SHIP ever to feature. It paints a positive long-term image and shows that we are on the right track to implementing a 20,000 affordable housing program. ten years.
âWe will continue to work hard with our partners in housing associations to build more social rental housing. But we have to see what more we can do. We were the first local authority to develop an affordable housing policy through planning – where 25% of all new development land must be allocated to affordable housing. Now, through the city plan, we are proposing to increase the affordable allowance from 25% to 35%.
âWe have solid experience in delivering new social rental homes. This has translated into an additional Â£ 36million grant to Edinburgh over the past five years. We will work hard to ensure this continues, while advocating with the Scottish Government for increased investment in social housing in our town.
Councilor Mandy Watt, Vice-President of the Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Committee, said: âEdinburgh’s housing market has remained resilient throughout the pandemic, but the full impact of the lockdown and continued restrictions, combined with Brexit, on the wider economy and the housing market work is not fully known. Low-income people will continue to be the hardest hit and, therefore, affordable housing must play a key role in a green and sustainable recovery.
âIn terms of delivery, financing and land supply remain two key challenges for delivery. SHIP will require Â£ 329.6million in grants, or Â£ 65.9million per year on average, or a required annual increase of 29%, based on current benchmarks in order to meet the overall ambition of 20,000 homes. The council will continue to work with the Scottish Government and its partners to expand the available grants as much as possible to maximize the amount of social rental housing that can be delivered.
âWhile our Registered Social Owners (RSL) program relies almost entirely on private developers offering sites to be developed through the Affordable Housing Plan (AHP), we seek to mitigate this risk, through our land strategy by working over 20 minutes. partnerships with the private sector and RSLs, inviting the private sector to take an interest in highlighting opportunities for board-led delivery and working closely with public sector partners.