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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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First new council homes in a generation

November 01 2010
Gracemount goes down in smoke... Gracemount goes down in smoke...
Locals involved in design of quality houses on the old Gracemount site

Work has begun on Edinburgh's first council homes for a generation. Housing Minister Alex Neil cut the first sod of earth at a special ceremony to start construction on the site of three former high rises in Gracemount (the demolitions of which is pictured).

The new development will see 215 homes built in total, with the first phase scheduled to be finished in winter 2011. Local residents have been involved in the design process, and a range of different sizes and styles of home were decided upon.

Before planting the first spade, Councillor Neil said: "This is a historic day for the nation's capital. After 30 years, council houses are once again establishing a firm foundation in Edinburgh.

"The City of Edinburgh Council has enthusiastically embraced these positive measures, helping to boost supply and deliver quality, affordable rented homes for people in the city."

The start of the building work is the latest stage in Edinburgh Council's 21st Century Homes programme, which aims to create 1,300 new homes for sale and rent across the capital over the next eight years. The council recently secured funding worth £7.5 million from the Scottish Government to support the programme and ensure it continues to take shape.

Council housing leader Paul Edie commented: "This is an exciting time for residents in Edinburgh. I'm confident these modern homes will set the standard for other councils across Scotland to follow.

"Nothing is more important to people than decent housing. It impacts on health, wellbeing and educational attainment. I am delighted that the first council homes in a generation are being built during my time as housing convener.

"The 21st Century Homes programme is a vital element of our ongoing long-term regeneration plans for the capital."

Betty Stevenson, head of the Edinburgh Tenants Federation, also attended the ground-breaking ceremony and welcomed the start of the new development. "I think this a wonderful time for the city of Edinburgh to start building houses again after a gap of 30 years.

"I hope this is just the start of things to come because they are much needed for our growing communities and I am looking forward to seeing them built."