Private landlords to help tackle city's homeless crisis

This partnership underlines the growing importance

of Buy to Let landlords within the whole housing spectrum.

This Private Sector Leasing (PSL) scheme, the first of its kind in Scotland, is to be managed by west London-based property services group, Orchard & Shipman plc.

The scheme offers long term contracts to private sector landlords with a guaranteed rent for the whole period. As well as making good use of the Buy to Let market in Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council also benefits from the significant options it can offer homeless people.

These properties are financed by Buy to Let landlords and help local authorities to fulfill their statutory obligations to house the homeless.

Sheila Gilmore, City of Edinburgh Councillor and Executive Member for Community Safety and Housingsaid, "Homelessness continues to be a major problem for thousands of people in Edinburgh every year. This initiative will help us work with private landlords to free up some of the housing in

the private rented market to those people who need it most."

Private Sector Leasing schemes are attracting growing interest from local authorities in England and Wales as well as Scotland. Orchard & Shipman already manage nearly 1,000 properties for the London Borough of Hillingdon and for Spelthorne Council.

Welcoming the initiative, John Blackwood of the Scottish Association of Landlords said, "People with property to let in Edinburgh can invest in the City's housing market knowing they can also play a part in solving the City's housing crisis. It is a fantastic example of the success and possibilities of partnership working between the public and private sector."

Chris Shipman, Executive Chairman of Orchard & Shipman said, "We are delighted to be managing the first private sector leasing scheme in Scotland and hope that other councils will follow this example. It has already proven to be a cost effective alternative to other methods of housing provision and brings real benefits to people in need of housing as well as the property owner."

Under the Scheme, Edinburgh hopes to lease 250 properties in the first year, rising to up to 1,500 over a five year period. Orchard & Shipman expect to employ up to 30 staff in their Edinburgh offices.

Landlords who would like more information about private sector leasing in Edinburgh should contact Angela McLachlan at Private Housing Services on 0131 529 7104.