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Monday, 31 January 2011

Affordable housing to be built at old ERI site

 New buildings built at Quarter Mile, Lauriston
Hillcrest Housing Association is to build 174 new homes at the old ERI site now called Quartermile. So far luxury and exclusive flats, offices and shops have been built here and some apartments stretching into over £1/2 million.  The old nursing home, which was a listed building was demolished for glass cubes.  However this is good news that new homes are being built.

Lead architect Graeme Armet said: "The 174 affordable housing units are based around a central courtyard with as many balconies and external amenity spaces as we could achieve.

"It is cut away in the south-west corner because we wanted the sunlight and daylight to penetrate the central courtyard and for the units to have as many views across the Meadows as was possible."
Whilst affordable housing is welcome it is hoped that there will be rented secure tenancies offered to families, it is hoped that the homes don't start of as affordable but slowly escalate into expensive holiday lets or buy to let with landlords charging inflated rents.  We hope these homes can be protected to be affordable homes for more than just a couple of years.  The Old Town of Edinburgh has lost the bulk of its affordable housing through the right to buy where once council tenancies for families have been turned into unregulated hotels aka holiday lets.

The City of Edinburgh Council, through the Scottish Government backed affordable housing investment programme will be given £7 m worth of funding.

It was reported in the Edinburgh Evening Newws that Emma Hutchison, Hillcrest's business development manager, said: "We feel that the design perfectly complements the wider Quartermile development. We are providing a range of affordable housing which includes wheelchair accessible and elderly amenity flats.

"We are also providing larger family homes with dedicated terraced spaces which will benefit from magnificent views."

Councillor Paul Edie, the city's housing leader, said: "There is a desperate shortage of affordable housing in the Capital with an estimated 15,800 affordable homes needed over the next ten years.

"Many people cannot afford to get on the property ladder but developments like these represent a lifeline to them."

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