Shared equity homes empty due to crunch

SIXTY homes built to help poorer families on to the housing ladder are standing empty in Edinburgh because no-one can get mortgages to help buy them.

The houses were built under the Scottish Government's "shared equity" programme, where would-be home buyers can take a stake of between 50 and 80 per cent, with the Government funding the rest.

But Labour's Mary Mulligan, MSP for Linlithgow and the party's housing spokeswoman, said the current economic situation meant people could not get the money to buy into the scheme.

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Instead, she suggested: "Let's give the money to housing associations to build houses for people to rent."

Since 2006, a total of 226 new shared equity homes have been built in Edinburgh.

The 60 empty homes are made up of ten at West One, off Slateford Road; 13 at Harvesters Way, Wester Hailes; seven at Drum Street, Gilmerton; 14 at Thorntreeside, off Easter Road; and 16 in The Element at the Waterfront.

A government spokeswoman said the performance of all affordable housing programmes was kept under close review, particularly in the current housing market and economic conditions.