The delivery of up to 10,000 affordable homes in Edinburgh is under threat after tenants voted to reject a housing stock transfer.
On a 60% turnout Edinburgh tenants voted by 7301 to 6553 against transferring the council’s 20,000 homes to a registered social landlord that was set up to take them over.
The council said the rejection of its transfer plan would mean less funding for the city’s regeneration areas and the construction of far fewer homes for rent, as RSLs can use private finance to fund developments.
The council had put in a request to the Scottish executive for extra money for affordable housing in the city, which is facing intense development pressures as a result of its recent boom.
David Bookbinder, policy officer with the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, said: “The council negotiated a fantastic deal with the executive, not just for the debt to be paid off, but also investment for 10,000 new homes.”
He said the loss of the funding package would not affect schemes already being developed, but could undermine those at planning stage.
He said the Edinburgh vote did not represent a fatal blow to the transfer process in Scotland, pointing to a recent nine-to-one vote by Argyll and Bute tenants to switch landlords.
Bruce Black, spokesperson for industry body Homes for Scotland, said it was likely that developers would have to make up the shortfall through planning gain agreements.
He said: “This will simply put pressure on developers because the gap will need to be made up somewhere.”