Did you know that Port of Leith Housing Association (PoLHA) is planning to build 850 new homes in the area over the next five years? Part of the association’s Strategic Plan in the run-up to 2020, the development looks to address Leith’s affordable housing supply. The association has benefited from increased rates of subsidy from the government as well as a new long term loan through insurance company Canada Life. The new influx of cash will see PoLHA invest £89 million in new development and £7 million on improving existing housing stock.
Since PoLHA’s strategic plan was approved in 2015, Edinburgh’s housing market has faced a number of challenges. We have seen uncertainty caused by higher than average prices, short supply and a high demand for both social housing and mid-market rental properties.
Earlier this year, Keith Anderson, chief executive of PoLHA said:
“Edinburgh’s residents face ongoing high house prices and continued high demand for affordable, secure and high quality housing for rent. It is crucial that we deliver enough homes to respond, so I am delighted that our Board has approved plans to increase our new development activity over the next five years.
“The building of these new homes will still require us to rely on a mixture of public subsidy and private finance. However the flexibility and tailored finance package we have secured in the last year will enable us to deliver more than we previously anticipated.”
“Port of Leith Housing Association has a responsibility to continue to play an active role in the regeneration of Leith and north Edinburgh. Our ambition is to build new communities which are well connected, mixed and sustainable.
“We are also committed to continue to focus on our wider role projects including supporting people into employment, supporting people to live independently, and improving environmental conditions to ensure Leith and North Edinburgh is a great place to live, work and enjoy.”
Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News Leith Labour Councillor Gordon Munro said:
“This is good news and most welcome. Housing is the main issue raised in my surgery by constituents.
“The return of the private landlord means that some people are using a lot of their wage to pay the rent.
“Fuel poverty is another issue and good quality homes built to high standards can tackle this problem.
“But just as important is that people want to live in and around Leith and this funding, which we need more of for housing, makes it happen.”
In other news, a new project is planned to convert the State Cinema on Great Junction Street into 37 apartments. This iconic art deco cinema was closed in 1972 and has since been used as a bingo hall, nightclub and church. Redevelopment work will start next year if plans by ISA Architects are approved by the city council.
Call us on 0131 337 1800 for all property enquiries.