Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Major urban renewal project in inner Melbourne

Joint Media Release with:

  • Rob Hulls, Acting Premier of Victoria
  • Richard Wynne, Victorian Housing Minister
  • Tony Lupton, Member for Prahran

A new partnership between the Rudd and Brumby Labor Governments is the first stage in the significant urban renewal projects on public housing sites in Prahran, Richmond and Fitzroy.

These projects will deliver a mix of public housing, community housing and affordable homes to better reflect the surrounding neighbourhoods these estates are situated within.

The Victorian Government will work closely with communities and Local Government to develop plans for the physical regeneration of these estates and create new urban environments that will be better connected to local neighbourhoods.

Acting Premier Rob Hulls joined Federal Housing Minister Tanya Plibersek, Victorian Housing Minister Richard Wynne and State Member for Prahran Tony Lupton to make the announcement at the Prahran housing estate today.

“We are committed to providing safe, secure and affordable housing for the state’s most vulnerable residents, as well as addressing the shortage of affordable housing in inner Melbourne,” Mr Hulls said.

Australian Government funding will be used to deliver new affordable homes within these urban renewal projects. By creating well designed mixed communities, these projects can unlock thousands of new affordable homes and improve amenity for existing residents.

Ms Plibersek said the Rudd Labor Government was pleased to commit $175.3 million from the Housing Affordability Fund to support urban renewal and a greater supply of affordable housing.

“The Rudd Government is investing $512 million through the Housing Affordability Fund to reduce planning and infrastructure costs in new housing developments,” she said.

“I am delighted that the Housing Affordability Fund is unlocking affordable housing supply and improving housing affordability in inner Melbourne.

“The redevelopments here in Melbourne will deliver more affordable housing in the inner city area and build on our record $1.26 billion investment in social housing under the Stimulus program in Victoria.”

As part of the first stage of the project, 547 new affordable homes will be built to help to create an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable community on each site. The plan includes 188 units at Prahran, 207 apartments at Richmond and 152 units at Fitzroy.

Victorian Housing Minister Richard Wynne said only about one percent of available rental housing in Yarra and Melbourne was classified as affordable.

“That number is closer to zero in Stonnington,” he said.

“We know that low income earners and unemployed Victorians are the most vulnerable residents in the community, so when the pressure on the housing market increases, they are the ones who feel it the most.

“These projects will improve and increase the social housing stock in the inner city while also delivering other affordable homes for purchase.”

“That’s why the investment the Rudd Labor Government is making in Victoria is so important.

“Public housing tenants are an important part of Melbourne’s unique inner-city fabric and it is important that these areas continue to house a diverse population including workers on low wages.”

Mr Wynne said the proposals had been developed with leading architects and would now be presented to current residents of the three housing estate precincts.

“The new housing will be energy efficient, meet high standards for design and amenity, and contribute to surrounding streetscapes,” he said.

“I have already spoken with representatives of the communities of each of the housing estates, and they are all in agreement that these developments will have significant benefits to their lifestyle and the value of the estate within the broader community.

“We have organised opportunities to speak with all residents of these estates in the next few days and I look forward to hearing their feedback.”

Member for Prahran Tony Lupton said he was pleased the Federal Government was investing in the urban renewal projects in inner Melbourne, which would enhance the amenity of the area.

“This is an exciting announcement because providing affordable housing has never been so important, particularly for people in the Stonnington area, where the market is so tight,” he said.

Victorian Planning Minister Justin Madden will appoint a Priority Development Panel to undertake a consultation process including public exhibition of the proposed housing projects, an opportunity for submissions, hearings and input from Yarra and Stonnington councils.

“This Priority Development Panel will provide recommendations to me on the three proposals,” Mr Madden said.

“I will brief Yarra City Council and Stonnington City Council once the Priority Development Panel report is received before making a final decision on the housing projects.”