Victoria’s $5.3bn Social Housing Spend Targets 12,000 Homes

The Victorian government is offering to spot-purchase private projects and will look to develop existing state land to cope with demand for its $5.3 billion social housing spend.

The state government is seeking bids in 21 priority local government areas, allocating $948 million to work with the private sector to buy homes, projects in progress or ready-to-build sites.

Opportunities also abound in the $2.14 billion allocated for new opportunities with private sector and community housing partners.

Towards the end of the year and in early 2021, existing land sites will be explored, with the state government “engaging with the market to identify new sites, new ideas, new opportunities and ways to build more homes”.

The historic initiative will ultimately increase the social housing supply by 10 per cent adding 2,900 new affordable low cost homes and 9,300 new social homes including the replacement of 1,100 old public housing units across the state.

The first six projects in the initiative—centrally located in Melbourne—are awaiting fast-tracked planning approval, with construction partners yet to be announced.

Two further projects are expected be announced early next year.

First projects in Victoria’s "Big Housing Build"

Bills Street, HawthornThe original buildings will be replaced with 200+ dwellings over more than 6 buildings.To start late 2021; subject to planning approval.
24-42 Dunlop Avenue, Ascot ValeThe 80 existing dwellings will be replaced with 200 dwellings over 6 buildings.To start first half 2021; planning permit already issued.
147-161 Elizabeth Street, RichmondNew neighbourhood reflecting needs of the area.To start late 2021; in planning.
Markham Avenue, Ashburton178 dwellings across 5 buildings.To start first half 2021; proposed site prepared for redevelopment.
Tarakan Street, West HeidelbergReplace old social housing with townhouses and apartments creating 130 dwellings.To start second half of 2021; proposed project.
Victoria Street, Flemington200 dwellings which will be co-located to the Public Housing Renewal Program planned works at the site.To start mid-2021; proposals from bidders in November 2020; contract to be announced.
The 21 Priority Areas for ProposalsBallarat, Boroondara, Brimbank, Bendigo, Cardinia, Casey, Darebin, Greater Geelong, Hume, Macedon Ranges, Maribyrnong, Maroondah, Melton, Mitchell, Moorabool, Moreland, Port Phillip, Shepparton, Whitehorse, Whittlesea and Wyndham.

^ Source: Victorian Government - Big Housing Build

Along with the spot-buy and partnership packages there is also $532 million allocated for constructing homes on public land and $1.38 billion to fund projects by the community housing sector.

In addition, there is also $35 million for Aboriginal communities, $498 million for existing home maintenance and $185 million to replace seven existing major public estates with modern, energy efficient and attractive dwellings.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the initiative will generate an estimated $6.7 billion in economic activity and support more than 18,000 jobs.

“This will change lives—giving thousands of Victorians the security and stability of a home, and tens of thousands of Victorians a job,” Andrews said.

“It’s a profound investment in a stronger, fairer Victoria—a Victoria that recognises everyone deserves a place to call home.”

Ten per cent of the work on major projects will be done by apprentices, cadets and trainees.

Minister for Housing Richard Wynne said the initiative, combined with existing investments, will create 15,800 new homes and starting over the next four years across metropolitan and regional areas.

“We’re delivering the biggest investment in social housing Victoria has ever seen—we’re not just investing in bricks and mortar, but the lives of Victorians for decades to come,” Wynne said.

This adds to a big week for Victoria, having entered recovery mode with the announcement of $2.2 billion to fund the suburban rail loop and an $800 million deal for a high-tech vaccine facility slated for Melbourne Airport Business Park.

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