Cheaper houses bid to ease mortgage nightmare

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Michael MacLeod

DESPERATE measures are being taken in a bid to fix Scotland’s “chronic shortage” of affordable homes.

Knock-down rental rates are being offered in Edinburgh after the council bought 19 brand new homes in a new £200 million estate.

The houses are being offered to those struggling to get a mortgage as the credit crunch tightens its grip.

The plan to buy homes to then sell on comes after the City of Edinburgh Council announced it will spend £150 million building 1,300 new affordable homes in the city.

The council are buying the houses from PARC, who are building the development in Craigmillar, along with two new schools.

Chronic

Norman Work, the council’s housing spokesman said: “This homes purchase is part of a wider strategy to meet the chronic shortage of housing in the city, which includes increasing the supply of affordable rented homes.

“There remains an acute shortage of affordable housing in the city. This has been made worse as potential first time buyers find it more difficult to get mortgages in the current climate.

“These new homes will give a much-needed helping hand to working households who are currently battling to find a home.”

The 19 properties will be advertised at below market rent and for general sale to working households.

Crisis

Betty Stevenson, who heads up Edinburgh Tenants Federation, said: “I’m delighted by the action the council is taking, it’s an important first step.

“In the present housing crisis, homes are even more desperately needed than ever before, especially social housing.”

John Quinn, PARC’s general manager, said: “Due to the current market many homebuyers are still struggling to enter the property market and this is one of the ways that PARC is working with the council to actively help people find homes.

“We believe integrating different housing tenures is an important part of development at Craigmillar.”

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