Media Release by Senator the Hon Mark Arbib

St Kilda Housing Development Helps People at Risk of Homelessness

Joint Media Release with:

  • Michael Danby MP, Member for Melbourne Ports

A $5.1 million social housing development in St Kilda will provide at least 34 people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with a roof over their heads and the support they need to get back on their feet.

Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness Mark Arbib and Member for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby today officially opened the St Kilda Community Housing project, which was supported by the Australian Government’s Social Housing Initiative.

“This wonderful facility will be a great asset for the community and for people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness,” Senator Arbib said.

“The Grey Street redevelopment has converted a 20-room shared facility into a rooming house with 34 self-contained apartments.

“It will provide housing for people in need, in particular low-income people who have links to the St Kilda area and would otherwise struggle to find a stable place to live.

“This development is just down the street from my office, and it’s been amazing to watch the transformation of this space, from fairly rundown to better than new,” Mr Danby said.

“As well as the St Kilda project, the Government’s Social Housing Initiative has provided a wonderful boost for Port Phillip. Our investment of $45.4 million in the City of Port Phillip is set to deliver 224 new homes and repairs and maintenance for 581 existing homes.”

Mr Danby said the development would allow vulnerable people to find a stable place to live, an important part of staying connected with their community.

“This site will help people access the services they need – it is within walking distance of a local supermarket, parks, community centres and public transport,” Mr Danby said.

“This facility is a key part of the St Kilda community and the redevelopment means it will be able to help more people.

“It is wonderful to see that the heritage value of the existing 1890s Edwardian-style building has been retained, with a particular focus on restoring the façade of the building, including balconies and brickwork.

“As a six-star energy rated development, the project has also met world class environmental standards, including a water tank and solar panels.”

Senator Arbib said the $5.6 billion Social Housing Initiative was the single largest investment in social housing ever undertaken by an Australian Government.

“Forming part of the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan, the initiative provided funding for new housing construction and supported the repair of existing social housing dwellings,” Senator Arbib said.

“Under the Initiative, more than 19,300 homes have been approved for new construction across the nation by June 2012. As at late February, construction has started on more than 18,600 dwellings, with more than 11,900 of these already complete.

“In Victoria alone, more than 2,100 new affordable rental homes have been completed through the new construction program.

“Nationally, we have funded repairs and maintenance benefiting 80,000 existing social housing homes – 12,000 of which would have been lost to housing stock without this work.

“I am confident the St Kilda project will help many people in need in the years ahead. I would like to pay tribute to St Kilda Community Housing for its involvement in this project. The Victorian Government also deserves our thanks.”