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

The site is 6km from the CBD in the City of Darebin. 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 Northcote estate and deliver more social housing to better meet demand.

The project will replace 87 ageing public housing homes with a mixed development that will include approximately 106 modern social housing homes, a 22 per cent increase.

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:

  • A modern development that meets current environmental, accessibility and design standards
  • A greater range of housing options for those wishing to make their home in Northcote
  • A modern and adaptable community room suitable for a range of activities, including an artist’s live/work studio
  • A  pedestrian path along the Merri Creek, subject to Darebin Council approval
  • Retention of as many medium and high-value trees as possible on the site and where removal is necessary, trees will be replaced at 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.

The application was considered by the Social Housing Renewal Standing Advisory Committee and a report provided to the Minister for Planning.

The Minister for Planning has considered the Standing Advisory Committee's recommendations and approved Planning Scheme Amendment C180 to the Darebin Planning Scheme.

On 29 March 2018, the Minister for Planning approved Amendment C180 to the Darebin Planning Scheme.  The amendment applied Development Plan Overlay 13 to the site.

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

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 Walker Street, Northcote site.

The consultative committee is chaired by Kat Theophanous MP – State Member for Northcote.

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.

Further information

Northcote estate residents contact: relocations.north@dhhs.vic.gov.au

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