Port of Leith Housing Association to build a further 850 new affordable homes

Keith Anderson
Keith Anderson

Port of Leith Housing Association (PoLHA) has confirmed plans to build 850 new homes over the next five years – an increase of 154 homes previously planned by 2020 and total of 370 more over the entire period.

The Association’s Board have approved revisions to the five year Strategic Plan, which outlines projected housing development through to 2020. The Plan sets out PoLHA’s ambitious plans for growth and for providing excellent services amid the challenges facing Leith and wider Edinburgh in terms of new affordable rented housing supply.

The rise is due to a combination of increased rates of capital subsidy from government and taking advantage of a new long term private funding facility through Canada Life last year. The announcement will see PoLHA invest £89 million in new development and £7m in improving the quality of its existing homes between 2015 and 2020.

Since the Strategic Plan was originally approved in 2015, Edinburgh has seen continued uncertainty in the housing market, higher than average prices and very high demand for both social housing and mid-market rent properties. PoLHA seeks to meet these challenges by building the right mix of homes to facilitate vibrant communities in Leith and North Edinburgh.

Keith Anderson, chief executive at PoLHA, said: “Edinburgh’s residents face ongoing high house prices and continued high demand for affordable, secure and high quality housing for rent. It is crucial that we deliver enough homes to respond, so I am delighted that our Board has approved plans to increase our new development activity over the next five years.

“The building of these new homes will still require us to rely on a mixture of public subsidy and private finance. However the flexibility and tailored finance package we have secured in the last year will enable us to deliver more than we previously anticipated.”

Commenting on PoLHA’s ambition that the new developments lead to the creation of communities, he added: “Port of Leith Housing Association has a responsibility to continue to play an active role in the regeneration of Leith and north Edinburgh. The new Waterfront extension and ambitious Edinburgh Local Development plan will require the Association to play an active part in ensuring further new supply of affordable housing in the new and growing communities being created in this area.

“Our ambition is to build new communities which are well connected, mixed and sustainable. We are also committed to continue to focus on our wider role projects including supporting people into employment, supporting people to live independently, and improving environmental conditions to ensure Leith and North Edinburgh is a great place to live, work and enjoy.”

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