Building More Social Housing In Melbourne’s West

In an Australian first, the Andrews Labor Government is building prefabricated studio units on unoccupied government land in Melbourne’s inner west to help meet demand for social housing.

Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz today visited one of the nine sites along Ballarat Road in Footscray and Maidstone that will be home to 57 prefabricated studio units – providing housing for low-income earners priced-out of the private rental market.

The architecturally designed modular housing units each leave the factory completely assembled, including whitegoods and appliances installed, and can be transported to numerous locations.

The ground-breaking project will see VicRoads-owned land earmarked for future road-widening subleased to community housing agency Launch Housing. These sites have been selected by VicRoads because they are unlikely to require the land over the next 10 years.

Key funding for the project was secured through a $3 million grant from the Victorian Property Fund.

The Labor Government is also investing more than $6.5 million in grants for social housing projects in Footscray and St Albans, with all three projects creating 118 units.

Unison Housing Limited received a $5 million Victorian Property Fund grant to develop a six-level, 54-unit housing facility at Napier Street in Footscray, with Housing Choices Australia (HCA) awarded $1.56 million for a three-level, seven-unit apartment building at Gertrude Street in St Albans.

Both Unison and HCA have also received Victorian Property Fund Sustainable Housing Grants to carry out energy efficiency improvements to existing social housing buildings they own or manage.

All units will include environmentally sustainable design features to reduce energy and water use, and lower utility bills. Rent is capped at no more than 30 per cent of household income, ensuring the housing remains affordable.

The grants are part of more than $27.4 million from the Victorian Property Fund that the Labor Government awarded to nine community agencies in 2018 – funding vital social housing projects across the state, assisting low income and disadvantaged Victorians.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz

“This Australian-first project is about building social housing for vulnerable Victorians to help them get ahead.”

“We’re investing community agencies to help build projects that expand Victoria’s stock of social housing in areas of greatest need.”