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Public, Third and Business sectors meet Minister for Housing Paul McLennan to discuss Edinburgh’s Housing Emergency

Posted: 1st December 2023

Today, key representatives from SHAPE – the Strategic Homelessness Action Partnership for Edinburgh – the City Council and the Business Community will meet Minister for Housing Paul McLennan to discuss the impact of the housing emergency on every sector in the city and how all three sectors can support the search for solutions.

Edinburgh Council Housing Convenor Cllr Jane Meagher, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce CEO Liz McAreavey and CEO of Cyrenians Ewan Aitken, who is convenor of SHAPE, will be keen to press the urgency of the housing crisis and the critical need for an additional £400m investment in social housing, as set out in the “Case for Edinburgh” provided to the Minister last month. This document sets out the scale of the housing emergency, the commitments previously made by Scottish Government and the investment now needed to deliver the number of homes required.

Housing Convenor Cllr Meagher said: “There is no magic bullet. This emergency will require many different solutions and needs the whole city to come together. The Council cannot do this alone and I am grateful for the business and charity sector being so willing to collaborate to find the long-term solutions we need. We meet with the Minister for Housing on a regular basis but having both the Charity Sector and Business involved sends a strong message about the seriousness of the situation and how we will only find solutions through collaboration across all sectors.”

Chamber CEO Liz McAreavey said: “The lack of affordable housing is a significant barrier to Edinburgh’s ability to attract and retain the talent needed to fill job vacancies and grow the economy. The recruitment challenge is the number one issue we are hearing from the business community. Edinburgh is the 2nd highest performing city economy in the UK and a major driver of the Scottish economy – maximising our potential by investing in essential infrastructure and economic conditions can only be good for Scotland. I am delighted all three sectors are joining up to seek innovative solutions to this emergency.”

Convenor of SHAPE and CEO of Cyrenians Ewan Aitken said: “With 5000 households in temporary accommodation in Edinburgh right now and an average length of time for a family in temporary accommodation of 611 days, the human cost of this emergency is immense. The level of investment we are asking for is huge but without it we cannot solve this problem. We know the money will need to come from more than Government but we need Government on board to enable the creative and innovative solutions we need and to support where other barriers such as planning hinder progress.”

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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