A spending package of £173 million has been unveiled for the build and upgrade of homes in Edinburgh in the year ahead.
The City of Edinburgh Council said the funding announcement will see the city’s pipeline of new builds continue and capital investment into existing homes will ‘ramp up’.
Improvements to existing properties will include a focus on the fabric of buildings and energy performance – including design and development work for at least four multi-storey blocks.
It comes as the local authority gets set to adopt the ‘whole house retrofit’ system it piloted previously. The council said retrofitting will not only help with issues like damp, but also lower tenants’ fuel costs and support the city’s net zero carbon commitment, whilst delivering rewiring, roof replacements, new kitchens, bathrooms, windows, and doors.
The spending programme is also set to involve improvements to common areas and stairwells, adapting homes in response to people’s health needs, and transforming derelict sites and void properties into much needed new homes for tenants and people experiencing homelessness.
Councillor Jane Meagher, convener of the housing, homelessness, and fair work committee at the City of Edinburgh Council, said, “More than 3,000 older homes all over the city are set to benefit from improvements – making them greener, safer, and more accessible for generations to come. Our capital housing programme is about spending money where it is most needed so that we can help as many residents as possible live well in safe, warm homes.
“That means making council homes more energy efficient which will help to drive down bills. It means building brand new homes in response to the huge demand we’re seeing, and we need to keep listening to our tenants so that we can invest in those areas which will make the biggest difference to people’s lives.
“Post-pandemic, Brexit and in the face of a cost-of-living crisis and war in Ukraine, it remains a challenging time for residents, for council budgets and for construction at large. Like everyone else we’ve seen our running costs rise, but we must remain committed to tackling Edinburgh’s twin housing and homelessness crises. We also need to improve the standard of the housing we provide.
“I’m proud that, despite many pressures, we’ve had agreement from the chamber to invest so substantially this year. As we move forward, we’ll need to continue to work with partners and make our case to the Scottish Government to maximise funding opportunities and keep our longer-term plans on track.”