Shovels have hit the dirt for the first of five projects in Melbourne to increase affordable housing in the city.
The build-to-rent project at Kensington is being developed by Assemble and Super Housing Partnerships.
They have partnered with the $74-billion industry superannuation fund HESTA, which mainly covers the health and community services industries, along with specialist affordable housing fund manager Super Housing Partnerships for the project at 402 Macaulay Road.
HESTA has invested more than $100 million in the project.
The City of Melbourne supported the proposal for five buildings on the site comprising 362 apartments in October, 2022.
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.
“HESTA has more than a million members primarily working in the care economy,” HESTA chief executive Debby Blakey said.
“More than 80 per cent of members are women—they will be statistically over-represented in every one of the dire housing affordability statistics.”
Super Housing Partnerships has also pledged to achieve net-zero operational carbon emissions on all its projects.
HESTA previously indicated it expects to invest $240 million into several of Super Housing Partnerships’ build-to-rent projects.
Super Housing Partnerships chief executive Carolyn Viney said at The Urban Developer’s Urbanity 23 there was a lot of investor appetite and capital for affordable housing.
“I’d seen some [capital] was there, I was hoping more of it was there and in my first six months, what I have come to understand is there’s a lot of it there,” Viney said.
“We just need to work super quickly with how we get that money deployed and into homes that are actually being built.”
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 in Preston with office tenancies, a supermarket and retail outlets.
There is also a nine-storey building with 180 apartments at 512A Sydney Road in Coburg which 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 in Clayton and a 325-apartment project at 240-246 East Boundary Road in East Bentleigh are the other two projects in the pipeline.