LAR continues Edinburgh expansion with acquisition of 89 homes

Ann Leslie

Housing charity LAR has concluded a deal to buy 89 properties as part of ambitious growth plans in Edinburgh.

The latest development for LAR, which specialises in mid-market rental homes, is in the Telford area and is its seventh in the capital. The homes, built in 2012, were part of the Scottish Government’s National Housing Trust (NHT) initiative set up to develop affordable housing following the 2008 banking crisis.

Under the initiative, the City of Edinburgh Council provided loans to developers to build affordable homes on privately owned sites with developers required to make the homes available for up to ten years at affordable rents. Ten years into the initiative, the vouncil, working in partnership with housing associations and organisations, such as LAR Housing Trust, has enabled residents who choose to remain in their homes to continue to rent at affordable levels.

LAR’s chief executive, Ann Leslie, is delighted with its latest acquisition: “The really good news from this deal is that tenants now have lifetime security with us should they want to remain in their home. The NHT initiative was an excellent scheme to address short term needs and we are really pleased to have been able to work with the City of Edinburgh Council to ensure a successful outcome for all parties.

“We are delighted that tenants can now safely plan for their long-term future and this development is an important addition to our Edinburgh portfolio. We will continue to look for other opportunities in and around the city.”

LAR already has completed developments at Westwood House and Elfin Square in the west end of Edinburgh with a further four sites either in planning or under construction elsewhere in the city.

The Telford development consists of a mix of one, two and three-bed homes and was owned by the City of Edinburgh Council through the NHT scheme.

Councillor Mandy Watt, vice-convener of the City of Edinburgh Council’s housing, homelessness and fair work committee, said: “I welcome LAR’s commitment to meeting the need for affordable housing in Edinburgh. This development is an excellent example of collaborative working and we look forward to continuing to work with LAR as we move forward with our ambitions to deliver 20,000 affordable homes by 2027.”

LAR has also confirmed that rents will remain at their current levels and that it has frozen rents across its portfolio for the financial year 2021/22, due to the effects of the pandemic.

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