Housing Minister meets new residents at Western Harbour
Edinburgh residents are settling into their new homes, built through the innovative National Housing Trust (NHT) scheme forming part of a wider commitment from Scottish Government to deliver 50,000 affordable and high-quality homes by 2021. The scheme offers aspiring homeowners the opportunity to work toward owning their home after saving for a deposit
Harbour Gateway is a development of 138 mid-market rent National Housing Trust homes developed by Forth Ports in partnership with Rettie & Co, and Cruden Homes.
Delivered in five phases between September 2018 and May 2019, the homes are owned by the Western Harbour NHT Limited Liability Partnership. This is a partnership between Forth Ports, Scottish Futures Trust Investments Limited and City of Edinburgh Council.
Marking the completion of the new homes at Western Harbour, Housing Minister Kevin Stewart met some of the new residents to hear how they are settling in. Mr Stewart said: “Our vision is that everyone in Scotland live in high quality sustainable homes that they can afford and that meets their needs. We are on target to meet our ambitious aim of at least 50,000 affordable homes by 2021, and we are working closely with the public and private sectors to create innovative financing models to increase housing supply. These new homes are a fantastic example of how this ground-breaking initiative and partnership working is helping to create a strong community and sense of place at Edinburgh’s Waterfront.”
Resident Elliot Nettleship, who moved in to his flat in May, said: “The property is great, and I really look forward to getting to know the rest of the community and seeing how the area develops over the next few years. For me, I honestly don't think I will get a better chance to own my own property, given the savings scheme that comes along with the development.”
Councillor Kate Campbell, Housing Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “It’s well documented that we are facing enormous pressures on housing in Edinburgh. From the proliferation of short term lets, to having one of the lowest percentages of social housing in any city in Scotland coupled with some of the highest rents and house prices. That’s why Edinburgh council has supported the delivery of these affordable homes with £17 million, working in partnership with the Scottish Government, Scottish Futures Trust and the private sector.”
Christa Reekie, director of development and housing at Scottish Futures Trust, part of the partnership that delivered the homes, commented: “Increasing the supply and improving the quality of housing across Scotland remains a key priority for us and we are working to put in place innovative solutions to increase the supply of affordable and mid-market rent housing.”
Matthew Benson, Director, Development Services at Rettie & Co, said: “Harbour Gateway sets the standard for the collaborative way in which public and private sector financing deals can deliver high quality homes for residents. It is also notable that the project team has introduced a number of key innovations for residents, including the trialling of deposit-free rents and the development of an app which enables residents to achieve enhanced credit ratings from paying rents."
Carole Cran, Chief Financial Officer at Forth Ports said: “We welcome the Minister here today as we reach this first important milestone for Western Harbour. Our vision for the Western Harbour development is to transform an area of empty reclaimed land into a vibrant waterfront community which will deliver much needed new homes and can act as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of Edinburgh’s waterfront.”
Kevin Reid, Chief Executive of Cruden Group commented: “We are extremely proud of the role we have played in not only designing, constructing and part funding the gateway to Western Harbour, but in setting the standard for the wider development and cementing our relationship with the local community with the creation of jobs and homes. Hart Builders have an impressive track record in delivering award-winning construction projects in the area, with many more developments under construction. We will continue to play an important role by working with partners to deliver much-needed housing, regenerating derelict land and delivering a substantial economic boost to benefit the local community."
North Edinburgh News