charities, construction, housing, public sector

Residents praise £50m city homes project

Yvonne Gourlay and her son Gerald in their new homeRESIDENTS today praised a £50 million project which is transforming two neighbouring areas of south Edinburgh.

They say the revamp of Hyvots and Moredun Park is already providing good quality new homes for local people. “It’s fabulous,” said one tenant. “They’ve really taken our views on board,” said another.

They made their comments as the City of Edinburgh Council finalised the transfer of more than 200 of its properties to Dunedin Canmore Housing Association.

The association will refurbish these homes and carry out common repairs and improvements to 170 privately-owned houses. The association will also build more than 400 new houses and flats in the area.

Local families transferring into the first batch of new build properties are full of praise for the redevelopment programme.

Sandra Henderson (49), has just moved into “The Dell” – a small development of brand new homes for rent off Ferniehill Road. “It’s just fabulous,” she said. “I think they’re doing a brilliant job and this will really improve the area.”

Sandra, who has two grown-up children, used to live in one of the old blocks at Hyvots. “I’ve now ended up in this lovely new house,” she said. “I would never have expected to get something like this. It’s like winning the lottery.”

Neighbour Yvonne Gourlay (51), said: “We were previously in a council house in Hyvots Avenue. There was a lot of nice neighbours in the area but the houses were past their best and had lots of problems.

“Many of them are now coming down and making way for new homes. The regeneration project is fabulous and not before time.”

Dunedin Canmore is carrying out the transformation with the help of Scottish Executive grants totalling around £33.5 million. This is being channelled through the agency Communities Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council. The housing association is using private finance to fund the remaining £16.5 million.

The new homes at Ferniehill Road, EdinburghThe partners worked closely with local people to plan the transformation project. “The housing association couldn’t do enough for us,” said Yvonne. “There were lots of consultations and that’s given us the kind of homes we want to live in. My son keeps going on how cool his new home is. To get praise from a 13-year-old is fantastic.”

John Callaghan, the acting chair of Hyvots and Moredun Park Residents’ Association, said: “Residents have been closely involved in this project, since it first started in 1999. They backed the appointment of Dunedin Canmore to build the new homes, and residents in the remaining council blocks voted to transfer to the housing association last year.

“The community as a whole is extremely pleased with the way things are going. You just to have to look at the stock transfer vote to see how supportive people are.”

Mr Callaghan, who lives in Moredun Dykes Road, is moving to one of the new homes at the Dell himself. “Everybody’s been very impressed by the standard of the new homes. They thought it would never happen. But it has.”

This week’s transfer of former council properties will pave the way for a range of improvements.

Double glazing, gas central heating, new kitchens and new bathrooms will be installed. The housing association will also carry out substantial environmental improvements and provide better parking facilities, as well as better lighting and new door entry system.

Ewan Fraser, the chief executive of Dunedin Canmore Housing Association, said: “We’re pleased to be working with the Council and Communities Scotland to redevelop Moredun and Hyvots.

“New build properties in the area are already proving popular, and we’re looking forward to redeveloping the council properties, which are being transferred to us. This follows a vote by tenants in favour of the transfer.The Association is a not-for-profit organisation and has the ability to tap into funding that would not be available to the council. Therefore the transfer brings substantial benefits to tenants. At the same time we’ve pledged to protect rent levels and work closely with residents to ensure their requirements are being met.”

Councillor Sheila Gilmore, the Council’s executive member for community safety and housing, said: “I am delighted that the City of Edinburgh Council has enabled this to happen. It’s great that there are going to be lots of new houses for local people to rent in Moredun and Hyvots.”

Communities Scotland area director for Edinburgh, Lothians and the Borders, Pauline Innes, added: “Communities Scotland is pleased to have invested nearly £7 million in this project which is significantly improving existing housing and delivering new homes for people in this part of Edinburgh.”

Refurbishment work on the former council homes is expected to start in the next few weeks, to be completed by 2010. The final batch of new build homes is due to be built by 2012.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

1.Dunedin Canmore Housing Association manages nearly 4000 homes around Edinburgh, West Lothian and Fife. The Association was formed as a result of the 2005 merger of Dunedin Housing Association and Canmore Housing Association. The original groups were formed in 1975 to carry out tenement rehabilitation work in the Fountainbridge, Dalry, and Gorgie areas of Edinburgh. Since then their work – and property portfolio – has substantially increased. The merged Association is a Scottish charity and operates on a not-for-profit basis. You can find out more about the Association online at http://www.dunedincanmore.org.uk/

2.The council properties being transferred to Dunedin Canmore are
in the following streets:

Gilmerton Dykes Road
Gilmerton Dykes Street
Hyvot Court
Hyvot Gardens
Hyvot Green
Hyvot Park
Hyvot View
Moredun Dykes Road
Moredun Park Gardens
Moredun Park Green
Moredun Park Grove
Moredun Park Street
Moredun Park View
Moredun Park Walk

Tenants were balloted on the transfer last year, with 76 per cent of voters backing the change of landlord.

Issued by THEPRSTORE on behalf of Dunedin Canmore Housing Association

For more information, please contact

Adrian Mahoney, The PR Store
T: 01506 823714
M: 07967 150560
E: Adrian@theprstore.net

Ewan Fraser
Dunedin Canmore Housing Association
T: 0131 624 5600
E: ewan.fraser@dunedincanmore.org.uk

Katie Emslie
Media Officer
The City of Edinburgh Council
T: 0131 529 2427 (ext 52427)
E: katie.emslie@edinburgh.gov.uk

Joni Smith
Communications Officer
Communities Scotland
T: 01382 427515
M: 07721 754405
E: joni.smith@communitiesscotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

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