The City of Melbourne’s landmark Make Room project has been further bolstered with two significant philanthropic grants and updated schematic designs.
Council has now raised $14.5 million for the $20 million project, following $650,000 in donations from the Erdi Foundation and Hansen Little Foundation.
These donations secure the fit-out for the project’s in-house social enterprise and 10 rooms. Wraparound services will be delivered under funding by the Victorian Government.
The Make Room project is converting a Council-owned building at 602 Little Bourke Street into up to 50 studio apartments, multi-use spaces and support services for people experiencing homelessness.
The additional funding builds on existing commitments from the Victorian Government, The Ian Potter Foundation, Gandel Foundation, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and PwC Australia.
Schematic designs for the project have also been finalised, including five levels of studio apartments, and a ground floor and basement with multi-use spaces and opportunities for a social enterprise to be co-located at the site.
Make Room has already reached a number of key milestones, including the signing of an agreement for lease with Unison Housing and the appointment of Harris HMC as the early works contractor.
Make Room is being delivered by Homes Melbourne, a special entity of the City of Melbourne, created in early 2022 to reduce homelessness and increase safe, secure and affordable housing in our city.
Early works have already commenced, with structural work to begin in June 2023. Make Room is scheduled to open in mid-2024.
Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp
“We’re looking forward to delivering this important project to provide safe and supported accommodation for people who are sleeping rough on our city streets.”
“Melbourne is a caring city – and everyone deserves a safe place to call home and access to vital support services.”
“We set an ambitious target to raise $20 million for the initiative and we’re well on the way to achieving this thanks to the generosity of the Erdi Foundation, the Hansen Little Foundation and all of our other generous donors.”
Quotes attributable to Health, Wellbeing and Belonging portfolio lead Councillor Dr Olivia Ball
“Every step forward in the Make Room project is advancing the right to housing in Melbourne.”
“It is so vital people have housing first, giving them a chance to address the causes of homelessness, which are many and varied.”
Quotes attributable to Hansen Little Foundation Founder and CEO Jane Hansen
“We believe that offering housing solutions to those experiencing homelessness, including providing accommodation and support services so they may feel safe and secure at all times, is critical to improving lives.”
“Equally important is ensuring a pathway from homelessness into longer term housing to help create permanent solutions. Our foundation is delighted to be supporting this urgent initiative for our community and city.”
Quotes attributable to Erdi Foundation CEO Simone Szalmuk-Singer
“The Erdi Foundation is honoured to support the City of Melbourne’s Make Room project and Unison Housing.”
“As a leading Jewish Foundation committed to strengthening community and addressing disadvantage, the Erdi Foundation is proud to collaborate with the philanthropic sector in funding this initiative and hopes that many others will join us in empowering this vital project.”