The Victorian Government is joining with development partners – MAB Corporation and community housing provider HousingFirst – to completely rebuild the North Melbourne estate and deliver more social housing to better meet demand.
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About the site

The site is 4km from the CBD in the City of Melbourne. It is close to transport, education facilities, employment, support services and shopping precincts, making it ideal to deliver a new community.

The homes were built in the 1950s and no longer meet the needs of today’s Victorians and we are working to deliver integrated communities with social, affordable and private housing options to meet a greater range of housing needs.

The Victorian Government is joining with development partners – MAB Corporation and community housing provider HousingFirst – to completely rebuild the North Melbourne estate and deliver more social housing to better meet demand.

There are currently 112 dwellings on the Abbotsford Street site and they will be replaced by approximately 123 new public housing homes.

The new homes will be modern, accessible, safe, secure and energy efficient with a five-star Green Star rating and a seven-star NaTHERS average rating.

In 2017 the Victorian Auditor General recommended that ageing public housing was in urgent need of redevelopment. The new homes will be built to meet the needs of tenants today and into the future.

The redevelopment is funded by the Victorian Government and from the proceeds of the sale of some private housing being built on the site, which includes a proportion of private housing allocated for first home buyers.

Community benefits of the project include:

  • The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education and Training have agreed to set aside 5,500sqm of land on Molesworth Street for an education facility to help relieve pressure on existing inner-city schools
  • A shared open space that will be accessible to the surrounding area
  • Improved walking links through the site, including widening of Hardwicke Street for pedestrians
  • Design that will encourage and maximise sight lines and safety
  • Retention of as many medium and high-value trees as possible on the site and where removal is necessary, trees will be replaced on a two-to-one ratio.

Town planning

In 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services undertook a town planning process (known as a planning scheme amendment) to enable the site to be redeveloped. 

This involved community consultation on an indicative design during the planning scheme amendment process.

As part of this process, the Minister for Planning established the independent Social Housing Renewal Standing Advisory Committee to review and make recommendations on design parameters for the redevelopment, including matters such as building heights, setbacks and open space.

The Minister for Planning has carefully considered the committee’s recommendations and approved Planning Scheme Amendment C306 to the Melbourne Planning Scheme.

You can view the details of the amendment, the Social Housing Renewal Standing Advisory Committee report and other relevant documents at www.planning.vic.gov.au/shrp

On 29 March 2018, the Minister for Planning approved Amendment C306 to the City of Melbourne Planning Scheme.  The amendment applied Development Plan Overlay 12 to the site.

The project is currently in the planning stage and a development plan is being prepared.

Demolition

The renewal of the public housing at the Abbotsford Street site has taken an important step forward, with demolition works having commenced.

Consultative committee

Community engagement is a key element of public housing redevelopment. The Department of Health and Human Services has established a consultative committee for the renewal of the Abbotsford Street, North Melbourne site.

The committee brings together key community members and representatives of local organisations to ensure effective communication throughout the estate renewal. It enables ongoing and two-way feedback through an active participatory approach with stakeholders and the community.

Members of the committee provide feedback on redevelopment plans and identify local issues and matters of concern as they arise. Members will provide input and effectively communicate back to their communities to support the successful delivery of the estate renewal.

For further information, contact Mark Corbett on 0448 842 369 or relocations.west@dhhs.vic.gov.au

Further information

North Melbourne estate residents contact: relocations.west@dhhs.vic.gov.au

Email to register for project updates or send your questions to housing.renewal@dhhs.vic.gov.au