Eviction fears quashed as charitable trust sells homes

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Housing association deal brings 18 month eviction saga to an end

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10th November 2016 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Tenants have been told they will not lose their homes after a charitable trust sold off its property in Edinburgh.

There had been fears that people staying in Lorne Street, Leith, could be evicted when the Miss Agnes Hunter Trust said it wanted to sell their homes.

However, they have now been bought by the Places for People Scotland housing association and tenants have been given reassurances that their lease arrangements would not change, bringing an end to 18 months of uncertainty.

The Miss Agnes Hunter Trust is a grant-making charitable trust set up by her will in 1954 to provide financial help to charitable organisations which support health and social welfare in Scotland.

We are pleased to be able to finally announce the purchase of the 92 properties from Agnes Hunter Trust

Walter Thomson, chairman of the trust, said: "The trustees have considered the offer carefully and are confident that Places for People Scotland and its associated organisation Castle Rock Edinvar have the expertise and resources to take management of the property portfolio forward and that the sale is in the best interests of the tenants.

"We have written to the tenants informing them of the sale and advising that The Miss Agnes Hunter Trust will remain their landlord until the settlement date of 28 November 2016 after which tenancies will transfer to Places for People Scotland.

"The sale will enable the trustees to carry out the specified wishes of Miss Hunter by maintaining the financial grants to registered charities which support people suffering from arthritis and cancer, physical disability and mental health problems or learning disabilities, or which provide youth education and training for disadvantaged people.

"Currently grants amount to around £350,000 each year."

Alister Steele, managing director of Castle Rock Edinvar/Places for People Scotland, has also written to the tenants introducing their new landlord.

He said: "We are pleased to be able to finally announce the purchase of the 92 properties from Agnes Hunter Trust and end a period of uncertainty for the residents.

"We have a proud track record in investing in Edinburgh's housing stock and in managing the purchase of tenanted housing.

"We will now begin a dialogue with the residents to give reassurance on our commitment to the future of the properties and to discuss our services and investment plans.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh for their help on this matter."

Scottish housing minister Kevin Stewart MSP said: “I have been closely following the issue of the sale of the homes in Lorne Street by the Agnes Hunter Trust, and the welfare of the tenants, and I have met both the local MSP and MP on this matter to offer Scottish Government support.

“I am therefore delighted to hear that Castle Rock Edinvar HA, through its subsidiary Places for People Scotland, has agreed to purchase the homes from the Trust and will both retain the homes in the affordable sector and begin a programme of upgrading.”