Construction of 57 new homes is set to commence on vacant VicRoads’ land in Melbourne’s inner west thanks to a new and never-before-seen collaboration.
Vic Roads, Launch Housing, the Department of Health and Human Services and philanthropic donors Geoff and Brad Harris have come together to deliver affordable housing to the Melbourne market.
As a result, Launch Housing will build 57 one-bedroom transportable homes on nine vacant sites on Ballarat Road in Footscray, allowing low-income adults and families access to reasonably priced rental properties.
The land on which the houses will be built belongs to VicRoads, who acquired the vacant land over recent years for the potential future widening of Ballarat Road.
As part of the collaboration, Brad and Geoff Harris have provided a major philanthropic donation of $4 million to fund most of the building costs, while the lease will be held by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Launch Housing Deputy CEO and Director of Services Dr Heather Holst said the partnership would benefit a growing number of single adults and couples who are at risk of homelessness due to the lack of affordable housing in Melbourne.
“Single adults are one of the largest group of people currently experiencing great difficulty accessing and maintaining affordable housing right now.
“They can’t get into private rental due to the high costs and they often don’t qualify or have to wait up to a decade to access public housing.”
Dr Holst said the project has the potential to grow and extend to other government and non-government bodies who hold blocks of vacant land that can be used to create high quality, relocatable housing to dramatically reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness in Melbourne.
The Andrews Labor Government believe the levels of homelessness in Victoria is a serious concern that requires a whole of community response.
“Every Victorian deserves to have a roof over their head,” Acting Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Jenny Mikakos said.
“Homelessness is a confronting and complex issue.
“We are currently experiencing unprecedented demand and a first of its kind project like this will help adults and families have a place to call home.”
The lease, held by the Department of Health and Human Services, will be set at an initial period of five years with a 12 month notice to vacate clause should Vic Roads require the land to be returned.
Launch Housing will guarantee the rehousing of tenants if they need to be relocated at any point in the future.