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More affordable homes for Melburnians

11 May 2024

The City of Melbourne will continue to do its part to help tackle the housing crisis in Melbourne through a proposal to transform two Council-owned sites into new affordable housing.  

Council’s Affordable Housing Strategy sets an ambitious target to deliver up to 25 per cent of affordable housing on Council land to address the current shortfall of over 6,000 affordable homes across the city, which is set to increase to 23,000 by 2036. 

About 2600 m2 of land is proposed to be converted into multi-unit affordable housing on Curzon Street in North Melbourne and Victoria Street in West Melbourne, which could include provisions for key workers, Aboriginal peoples and older women.   

A further $1.5 million will be invested in Council’s draft Budget 2024–25 to provide our most vulnerable community members with the support they need through frontline services.  

The Curzon and Victoria streets projects acknowledge the City of Melbourne’s commitment to providing affordable housing for key workers, who are employees required to attend their workplace and are generally low-to-middle income earners.  

The City of Melbourne has more key workers than anywhere else in Victoria, approximately 142,000, almost a quarter of whom travel more than 30 kilometres to work. 

Community consultation on the proposal is currently underway. If approved, Council will appoint a community housing provider to develop the sites.  

Vital frontline services will be boosted by more than $1.5 million for Council’s key contracted specialist homelessness services – including Launch Housing’s on-street daily support team, the Salvation Army’s after-hours safe space, and specialist youth homelessness support through Melbourne City Missions Frontyard Youth Services.    

Construction of the City of Melbourne’s landmark Make Room project will be completed in August, which repurposes a Council-owned building at 602 Little Bourke Street into transitional supported accommodation.    

The facility will include 50 studio apartments, housing and homeless services and other wraparound support for those who need it most. Council has secured $16.1 million from the Victorian Government and philanthropic sector for the project to date.          

The draft Budget 2024–25 will be announced on Tuesday 14 May, with public consultation to follow until 5pm Monday 3 June.       

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp  

“Melbourne is in a housing crisis – every home that becomes available matters.”    

“This draft Budget is about doing what counts and delivering on our promises to the community – delivering truly affordable homes, particularly for key workers.” 

“Returning to a surplus budget in 2024-25 allows future Councils to continue to make important investments that will better people’s lives.”      

“More key workers are employed in the City of Melbourne municipality than anywhere else in Victoria. Thousands of these invaluable workers are travelling more than two hours each-way – they deserve affordable housing close to their place of employment.”  

“We’re working to transform three Council-owned sites to give more Melburnians a place to call home, while creating new pathways out of homelessness for our most vulnerable community members.”       

Quote attributable to Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece  

“As a local government, we’re doing everything we can to increase the number of homes available for residents, students and key workers – with an ambitious affordable housing program with design excellence at its core.”   

“We’re planning to turn land the size of 10 tennis courts into affordable housing in North and West Melbourne – and we’d love for the community to have their say on our proposal.”          

Quotes attributable to Health, Wellbeing and Belonging portfolio lead Councillor Dr Olivia Ball

“Access to safe and secure housing is a fundamental human right, and solving the housing crisis is about more than just building.”  

“We know the value of investing in frontline services to help more people at risk of or experiencing homelessness – that’s why we’ll continue to work alongside partners to make a real difference on the ground.”  

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