Building new public housing properties to help Victorians escaping family violence, homelessness and life on the streets.
different style houses drawn in the colours of red, yellow, green, orange and blue

Better homes and stronger communities

We are committed to providing public housing as an essential part of Victoria’s social safety net and providing better homes and stronger communities for all Victorians. 

Getting a job, studying, participating in community and turning one's life around is more achievable with a safe and secure place to call home.

The Victorian Government announced in October 2018 that it would help more Victorians escaping family violence, homelessness and life on the streets by building 1,000 new public housing properties. 

The $209 million investment will include 800 one and two-bedroom properties and 200 three-bedroom properties, providing homes for about 1,800 Victorians across the state. The new properties will be built in areas of high need across Victoria. 

The new construction will provide homes that are comfortable, modern and energy efficient and part of a vibrant and well-connected neighbourhood.  The new homes will be built over three years, with all properties to be completed by late 2022.

In addition to investing in housing and support services, we're providing public housing tenants with real opportunities and pathways out of homelessness through our Public Tenant Employment Program (PTEP). 

Project delivery

The first phase of the program proposes building a minimum of 160 homes on 60 sites owned by the Director of Housing. The sites are on vacant or untenanted land and spread throughout Victoria.  

The preferred approach currently is to demolish and replace existing under-utilised and untenanted public housing with more new homes for every old home demolished. 

Town planning

The sites are across the state with varying residential zonings. We are undertaking a town planning process (known as a planning permit with several councils) to enable the sites to be redeveloped.

Questions and answers

What are the benefits of the project?

We are committed to providing public housing as an essential part of Victoria's social safety net and providing better homes and stronger communities for all Victorians.

Getting a job, studying, participating in community and turning one's life around is more achievable with a safe and secure place to call home.

We are continuing to make significant investments to address housing and homelessness. This includes the development of more new and affordable housing, renewing and redeveloping existing properties and funding early intervention and prevention programs to break the cycle of homelessness.

The government is investing $209 million over three years to build 1,000 new public housing properties across Victoria to provide more people in need with a place of their own.

This investment will deliver more new public housing homes than previously existed on underutilised government owned sites and will increase the amount of affordable housing across Victoria.

The new properties will include 800 one and two-bedroom dwellings and 200 three-bedroom properties providing new homes for around 1,800 Victorians. The first phase of this program consists of 60 sites with a minimum of 160 homes to be built.

The new construction will provide homes that are comfortable, modern and energy efficient and part of a vibrant and well-connected neighbourhood.

For nearby residents, we are adding value to the community and streetscape with new and modern homes on underutilised land.

In addition to investing in housing and support services, we're providing public housing tenants with real opportunities and pathways out of homelessness through our Public Tenant Employment Program (PTEP).

Where will the new properties be built?

It is important that all communities across Victoria have a good supply of social housing to meet local housing needs.

This program prioritises vacant land and vacant housing stock across Victoria and the selection process for development sites will be:

  • Properties in the six announced Council areas with high rates of homelessness - Geelong, Ballarat, Darebin, Maribyrnong, Stonnington and Whitehorse.
  • Properties in adjoining Council areas / suburbs with high rates of homelessness; and
  • Rest of Victoria.

In each area, we have identified sites owned by us which we believe are suitable for the project.

What will the new homes look like?

All new homes will be built to modern residential standards, include landscaping and a frontage that is sympathetic to the neighbourhood and be 'tenure blind'.

A tenure blind development means there are no visible external differences in terms of quality of design, material and craftmanship between social homes and their neighbours. The benefits of developing homes which are indistinguishable between tenure are:

  • The design delivers social housing to the same base standard as that provided in the private market; and
  • Reduces any impacts on the local housing market that is driven by the perceptions of social and community housing.
What standards will the new homes be built to?

As far as practicable, all dwellings will achieve a minimum 7 star energy rating.  This means more comfortable and cost-effective homes, that are easier to cool in summer and warmer in winter.

All dwellings will be provided with private open space in accordance with planning requirements.

Who is managing the project?

We are constructing the homes and will manage the properties once complete.

When will construction commence and be completed?

Construction on the first sites will commence in December 2019, with the majority being completed by late 2022.

When will demolition begin?

Demolition of existing older buildings at some sites has already commenced. Remaining demolition works will be subject to site planning approvals.

What is involved in site demolition?

The demolition process includes the decommissioning of all services such as electricity and gas to ensure the site is safe. Following the demolition, the site will be cleared, and grass seeded to minimise dust. 

Will there be traffic congestion in the street?

Where required by local council, site developments will include a traffic management plan to avoid traffic congestion and minimise any disruptions.

Will there be a lot of noise during construction?

During the construction phase, amenity to residents will be preserved by complying with state and local council noise and environmental regulations.

Who will be living there?

The new properties will provide housing to vulnerable or marginalised people in our community at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

How can I support the people living at these sites?

Often, through no fault of their own, people may have experienced family breakdown or neglect, or other forms of social disadvantage, which has contributed to their risk of or experience of homelessness.

There are many ways you can help people at risk of or experiencing homelessness and help them rebuild their lives. 

  • Respect – Consider what we share in common including the wish for a safe and secure home.
  • Educate – Look at the factors that contribute to homelessness and help break the myths and misconceptions in our community.
  • Greet – If you feel comfortable, a simple gesture such as saying hello can go a long way to breaking down stigma and social isolation.
  • Volunteer – Offering your time and skills to specialist homelessness services in the community helps those in need and can improve theirs and your own personal wellbeing.
  • Donate - Giving goods or money to specialist homelessness agencies ensures people in need receive the right support at the right time.  
How can neighbouring residents provide feedback?

All sites will go through a statutory planning approval process to obtain planning permits. Neighbours with an interest in a site(s) can provide feedback to local council as part of this process.

More information

For more information or to ask questions about the project, email Building new homes to fight homelessness