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Edinburgh housing services at breaking point

edinburgh housing crisis

Edinburgh councillors have declared a housing emergency in a bid to force Holyrood to boost funding.

It reports that almost 5,000 households will need to live in temporary accommodation at Christmas due to the housing shortage, as rents are being driven up and the continued cost-of-living crisis puts pressure on household bills.

It follows news that Scottish landlords lost their bid to prevent the government from progressing its rent control policy. Current rules mean they can only raise rents by 3%, however, Propertymark has found that some landlords are more inclined to raise rents in between tenancies to cover additional expenses created by new regulation, running costs and rising mortgage rates.

Landlords quitting

It means Scotland has recorded the highest rent rises in the UK as other landlords are now quitting the sector, exacerbating shortages.

Edinburgh has already tried to crack down on the huge number of short-term lets in the city which councillors say are contributing to long-term rental supply issues, by introducing a new licensing scheme.

Councillor Jane Meagher (pictured), housing, homelessness and fair work convener, says despite doubling its homelessness budget over the last three years, the council is at risk of failing households who most need help.

Construction costs

“We have ambitious housebuilding plans, but we face rising construction costs as a result of inflation and difficulties securing land,” she adds. “This is against a backdrop of Edinburgh having the lowest proportion of homes for social rent in all of Scotland. This is not a new challenge, but it is at the stage of breaking point.”

The authority will now work on a housing emergency action plan, while trying to find the necessary resources.

Argyll and Bute is the only other local authority to have declared a housing emergency, in June.

Photo: Forever Edinburgh


scottish rental reforms
Short term lets
Housing crisis
Temporary accommodation
Landlords leaving