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Transforming Lives: Edinburgh’s £30m Project Revolutionizes Housing Conditions

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The Housing Minister has praised a pilot project aimed at significantly enhancing the living conditions of residents in an economically disadvantaged locality.

The City of Edinburgh Council’s three-year Mixed Tenure Improve Plan is directing £30m towards boosting the sustainability of homes and the comfort of residents across the Murrayburn, Hailesland and Dumbryden estates in Wester Hailes.

Measures being installed in Wester Hailes are revolutionising the energy efficiency of these properties, resulting in warmer homes, reduced fuel bills, and significantly lower carbon emissions.  

Two years in, over 900 homes have been upgraded, benefitting over 670 council tenants and 230 private residents in the first eight phases of work. Phases 9 to 11 will be completed by the end of 2024.  

“I was delighted to see first-hand the work of the City of Edinburgh Council’s Mixed Tenure Improvement Service programme, which is making homes more energy efficient so that people are able to live in good quality, warm homes.

“The Scottish Government has provided £36.9 million of funding to the City of Edinburgh Council to fund initiatives like this one in Wester Hailes. This is part of a £1.8 billion investment during this parliamentary term to transform the heat and energy efficiency of homes throughout Scotland and help people with their energy bills.

“High quality housing is a key pillar of Housing to 2040. I am delighted to see the benefits these home improvements will have for residents in Edinburgh.”

Following a visit to a recently renovated estate at Murrayburn Park, where 84 homes have benefited from the pilot, Housing Minister Paul McLennan

“What a transformation and a shining example of the work our officers are doing to make hundreds of homes warmer, greener and better inside and out. It just goes to show what we can jointly achieve when we have the funding we so desperately need. 

“It has been fantastic to see the effect this ground-breaking initiative is having. The work we’ve put in to this pilot is clearly welcomed by local residents, including many of our own tenants, and will have a lasting impact on the community.

“Edinburgh is quite unique in the amount of shared housing we have, with many blocks and estates benefitting from a mix of privately owned homes, rented properties and social housing. This project has already increased the lifespan of many of these buildings so that everyone living here now and in the future benefits.”

Councillor Jane Meagher, Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Convener

Residents of the housing estates that have already benefitted from the pilot have reported experiencing warmer, more comfortable homes and a noticeable decrease in their energy bills. 

“The neighbourhood feels refreshed and brighter, and homes feel warmer.” 

Local tenant

Another resident laughed, telling us that his daughter gave him a row for having his heating on, when he didn’t. He felt that the works have improved the heat in his home noticeably.  

One tenant told us that she did not switch on her heating at all last winter, saying she thought she had saved about 80% off her heating bills. 

One key initiative has involved installing cutting-edge insulation technologies. The Council has successfully minimised heat loss from homes, helping them to remain warm and comfortable during colder months.  

Other upgrades include new roofs, new common windows, new main doors and door entry systems and decoration of common stairs.

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