The Victorian government is calling for community housing associations, design firms, construction companies and financiers to take part in a Registration of Capability (ROC) process for the delivery of social and affordable housing in inner Melbourne.

Sites in Northcote, Brunswick West, Heidelberg West, North Melbourne, Prahran, Clifton Hill and Preston have been earmarked for redevelopment as part of the government’s $185 million Public Housing Renewal Program, with the ROC allowing interested parties to identify preferred sites and demonstrate their ability to deliver the renewal projects.

The sites will be redeveloped into mixed tenure neighbourhoods with social, affordable and market housing. The goal is for there to be a 10 per cent increase in social housing at each location.

Residents of the current estates will need to be relocated during the development process, with consultation currently ongoing and $16 million has been set aside for short-term accommodation. The government says the dwellings will be brought up to modern standards, with the current multi-storey walk-ups not suitable for the elderly or those with a disability, as well with having excessive maintenance and energy costs.

“So much of our public housing stock is old and no longer fit for purpose,” Victorian housing, disability and ageing minister Martin Foley said.

“We need to make a move to update and grow stock that will continue to meet tenant needs in the future.”

Construction is expected to start in early-to-mid-2018, with further sites expected to be announced.

The program is part of a larger Homes for Victorians strategy, which is providing $2.1 billion in financial instruments for community housing associations to rent, buy and build new homes.

“This is the first step in generating new communities and while it will be a long journey, we believe the investment will truly be worth it,” Mr Foley said.

The government also recently announced a $4.3 million for the EnergySmart Public Housing Program, which will replace inefficient electric water heaters and electric heaters in 1300 public housing properties and deliver other upgrades to a further 200 from 1 July 2017.

An industry briefing on the ROC will be held on 1 June 2017 at 2pm in Melbourne. RSVP here.

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  1. I live on a walk-up estate listed for demolition. At our Phase 1 meeting I asked about the life of the new development. I was informed 30 years. So I waved my hand around the area in the garden I was sitting, and advised, 60 plus years and still standing.

    The pyramids and the Taj Mahal still stand. I have watched the decline in regular maintenance for several years, which has in my mind been a hidden agenda to win the demolition argument. I have observed the slap dash approach to internal maintenance too.

    These are comfortable homes to live in, and over the years the major updates have made them more comfortable. As we progress down the demolition path, I find I now live in limbo. I don’t know my future, how to sort my belongings to suit, I get depressed, and at times lack motivation. Offers of help are only words, and when it comes down to it, part of the agenda argument.

    I am doubtful of what I am told, as already I am finding contradiction amongst the appointed advisors – it’s a debacle. Support should be constant, and advice clear plus in black and white.

    1. The design life of a building is determined largely by the choice of materials, esp. cladding and structure, as well as services provided within the building; The estimated lifespan for any building product is whatever a manufacturer will warrant for reasonable usage.
      For fixtures/fittings/appliances, the product life is often just a few years, due to the active nature of it’s use and numerous moving parts; Conversely passive elements of the building, 10-20yrs is more common, however the reality often far exceeds that amount several times over, with some materials lasting 50-100yrs with only basic maintenance.
      So the 30yr estimate should assume ’30 yrs’ before major maintenance / repair works are required, which would be not far off the original estimate for the life expectancy (60yrs ago) of the public housing you currently live in.