An $18.3-million affordable build-to-rent project has been completed in Melbourne’s north-east.
The property, 260 Bell Street, was designed by Plus Architecture and built by Manresa Constructions for not-for-profit housing provider Unison Housing.
The six-storey building comprises 42 apartments and is 9.5km from Melbourne’s CBD.
The apartment designs incorporate practical kitchens, bedrooms with built-in robes and temperature control, alongside balconies and secure underground parking.
Comprising mostly two-bedroom apartments, the development “will provide safe and secure homes for families who are on the highest priority category of the Victorian Housing Register,” a spokesperson said.
Homes Victoria, in partnership with Unison Housing, funded the project as part of the $5.3-billion Big Housing Build, which aims to provide more social and affordable housing to people in need across metropolitan and regional Victoria.
Unison will develop, manage and maintain the new building, with Unison’s Place Management team working with local services to ensure that residents are linked with support for a sustainable tenancy.
Located at the northern end of Bell Street at Heidelberg Heights, the development is in the heart of the Victorian government’s regeneration plans for the area, including completed upgrades to local infrastructure.
Plus Architecture principal Jessica Liew said 260 Bell Street had been designed to reflect and complement the surrounding natural landscape.
“Through incorporating large setbacks to the north and employing staggered terracing, the building’s curved sculptural form establishes an original and refined design language that creates a harmonious relationship with the neighbouring structures,” she said.
“The elegant and organic shapes follow the natural flow of the land and the building nestles into the rich topography of the raised site. Curved lines, expressed edges and wide balconies contribute to its inviting atmosphere.”
Unison Housing chief executive James King said increasing the provision of safe and affordable social housing such as the Bell Street property provided more families with housing options.
“For 42 families, this development represents an opportunity for a new start to life. It is a place where people can be comfortable, live with dignity, stay well, raise their family, make memories and connect and support each other within a community,” he said.
Affordable build-to-rent is on the rise and certain to be boosted by the Victorian government roadmap to end the housing crisis announced this week.
A build-to-rent project at Kensington being developed by Assemble and Super Housing Partnerships is one of five projects in Melbourne to increase affordable housing in the city now under way.
It is the first project in specialist affordable housing fund manager Super Housing Partnerships’ pipeline through the High Impact Fund I, which is worth $750 million.
The Kensington project will comprise 362 mixed-tenure homes including affordable, social, market-rate and specialist disability housing, and the site at Kensington, 4km north-west of the CBD, is near public transport and major hospitals.
Other projects in the pipeline include a four-building, 446-apartment project at 30 St Georges Road, 32-36 Oakover Road and 17-49 Showers Street at Preston with office tenancies, a supermarket and retail outlets.
There is also a nine-storey building with 180 apartments at 512A Sydney Road at Coburg that will be integrated with the existing Kevin Heinz Grow community garden and heritage buildings.
A five-building, 332-apartment project at 209-211 Carinish Road, Clayton, and a 325-apartment project at 240-246 East Boundary Road, East Bentleigh, are the other two projects in the pipeline.