Minister for Housing Wendy Lovell has announced a four-year, $80 million housing project that will see more than 320 new public and affordable private homes built in the suburb of Norlane, Geelong.
The New Norlane initiative will be one of the largest public and private housing projects ever undertaken in Victoria, revitalising Norlane and attracting new investment through a partnership approach.
Over the life of the project, 160 new private and 160 new public homes will be built on 200 blocks of land which are currently vacant.
"This project is one of a number of initiatives aimed at making Norlane a great neighbourhood," Ms Lovell said.
Last month the Premier announced that the Coalition Government will establish one of the first two Work and Learning Centres in North Geelong.
The new Centre will support the economic participation of local residents in the area and will open in the first half of 2012.
"The Department of Planning and Community Development and the City of Greater Geelong are also working on a structure plan for Corio Norlane, with the first part of this plan to be released in March," Ms Lovell said.
The new housing will be built over four years, with contracts already let for an initial group of 14 homes. A tender aimed at delivering the additional homes is underway.
"This project will feature a mix of public and affordable private housing, revitalising Norlane and delivering new local opportunities, jobs and investment," Ms Lovell said.
"The $80 million project will include homes for private sale, with the new homes well-suited to young families. A display village featuring some of the best value new homes in Geelong will be set up in Norlane."
Ms Lovell also announced the establishment of a Community Advisory Committee to enable the local community to provide input into the New Norlane development.
The Community Advisory Committee will be chaired by the Member for Western Victoria Region David Koch.
The committee will include representatives from the local community, business, government and community services.
"This is a great opportunity for Geelong, attracting new investment to the area, providing work for those in the building trade, and expanding the range of housing options available to young families," Mr Koch said.
Member for South Barwon Andrew Katos and Members for Western Victoria Region Simon Ramsay and David O'Brien have praised the project, saying it will create a strong, shared community in Norlane.
To promote a sense of shared community, the public and private housing will be spread throughout the suburb.
The reinvigorated suburb will continue to house low-density homes.
The new housing project will be overseen by the Department of Human Services and funded by the Coalition Government and private investment.
The City of Geelong will remain the responsible planning authority for the new homes. A proposal from the former Labor government for the Minister for Planning to assume responsibility for the area will not proceed.
"The new homes will be built by builders with a local presence. This development will boost Geelong's economy and provide training and employment for locals, including Norlane residents," Ms Lovell said.