For the last five years, Labour has taken the lead in housing for the City at a time when demand for housing that people can afford is at an all-time high. Nearly one-third of Edinburgh households now live in expensive and insecure tenancies in the private rented sector.
Labour's record of housing delivery has been good with more than 5000 households helped into new homes that they can afford, all built on brownfield sites across every neighbourhood.
We will deliver a minimum of 16,000 affordable and low-cost homes for rent and sale over the next 10 years, working with our partner housing associations and co-operatives. To meet needs, we require at least two-thirds to be let at 'social rent' levels. Labour will campaign vigorously for an increased grant from the Scottish Government to speed up this process.
However, building new homes is not enough on its own – Labour is committed to creating great places for people to live and prosper.
Labour recognises that there are still individuals and families who do not have a permanent place to call home. In this difficult time of Welfare Reform, we will continue to help the most vulnerable in our communities.
We have protected homelessness funding and are working with our partners in Homeless Support Services through the Edinburgh Homelessness Forum to look at creative and innovative ways forward. To ensure that we develop services that meet the needs of individuals who have been affected by homelessness we have actively involved them in sharing their stories with the forum.
We are committed to helping more disabled and elderly tenants and owners to adapt their existing homes, and assist older and disabled homeowners to move to more suitable housing should they wish to do so.
We will purchase existing homes to help us meet the need for affordable housing, where this would not be more expensive than a new build home of the same size.
We will work with other public sector and private landowners to develop land for affordable housing, prioritising brownfield sites, and we will always consider possible use for affordable housing when selling council owned land.
We will strengthen the Registration System for private landlords by setting up an inspection team to ensure they maintain their own properties, participate fully in common repairs, and treat tenants fairly.
Edinburgh is continuing to increase with housing need far outstripping supply in our fast-growing city. Yet we have made a great deal of progress in the last five years and I am confident that, if the voters of Edinburgh put their trust in us in May 2017, we can build on our achievements for the next five years.
- Joan Griffiths, Edinburgh Labour's Housing Spokesperson, email@example.com