Is Government Scouring Australia For Public Housing Sites?

A MAJOR but confidential Expression of Interest campaign seeking residential rental properties – believed to be for the government’s affiliated affordable and social housing agencies – has closed after almost six months.

The advertisement sought 400 unoccupied dwellings nationally, configured as motel rooms, blocks of flats, disused retirement villages, and clusters of units and houses.

The mystery tenant is offering 12 month leases with renewal options of up to five years on a case by case basis.

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Federal Government Continuing to Buy Commission Flat Sites

THE federal and state governments are continuing to buy development sites and vacant properties that it can convert into public housing.

It has recently acquired two prominent properties in the seaside hamlet of Wonthaggi, about 132 kilometres south-east of Melbourne.

In the highest profile deal, the government outmuscled developers and operators for the former Golf Links Hotel, which is set to be redeveloped into a major rooming house.

At another site at 7 Mortimer Street, near the Wonthaggi town centre, a vacant block offering picturesque views over the Wonthaggi Golf Course and Bass Strait is also set to make way for a new commission flat complex.

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ALP’s Commission Flat Building Boom Underway Without Community Consultation

THE Federal Government’s contentious plan to build record amounts of commission flats and social housing around your streets, and without proper community consultation – seems to finally have caught the attention of the wider community.

Despite anger in some States that details about the mass roll-out of commission flats have been deliberately kept from the community – the State ALP governments are pushing ahead with major public housing projects.

State governments need to do so in an attempt to collect part of the massive taxpayer-funded $5.6 billion the Federal ALP government has allocated to the initiative, for projects completed before a 2012 deadline.

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Government Tells Community to be Tolerant as Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast All to Receive More Social Housing

Karen Struthers - ALPA RECORD number of social housing is being developed in Queensland this year, as part of the Federal Government’s recent stimulus package.

And the ALP State Government has said it won’t let protesters get in the way of construction.

The Courier Mail reports about 3000 units worth $1.1 billion are set to be developed in the State.

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Brisbane City Council Approves More Major Projects

BRISBANE City Council approved several high density projects this week, including another public housing block.

One of the biggest approved proposals, is Meriton’s 77-level apartment tower on Herschel Street, in the city’s North Quay precinct.

The council also approved a 15-storey commercial office at 949 Ann Street, in Fortitude Valley, proposed by businessman Kevin Seymour, and a major proposal by Queensland-based Watpac, for more stages of its Waterloo Junction development, being redeveloped on the site of the Waterloo Hotel.

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NSW Public Housing Waiting List Grows

ALMOST 50,000 people are on waiting lists for public housing in New South Wales, making it the worst performing state in Australia.

According to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, NSW also recorded the highest rate of “over-crowding and under utilisation” in the country.

It said some households have had to wait more than two years for a home.

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Public Housing Building Boom Underway in Australia

Tanya PlibersekThe Federal Government yesterday released this statement, related to the development of more national public and community housing:

The Australian Government today announced that it has approved over $5 billion worth of projects under the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan Social Housing Initiative.

The $4.546 billion allocated as Stage Two follows $692 million of projects approved under Stage One in April.

These projects are the biggest ever investment in social housing in Australia.

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Public Housing Boom For NSW

AUSTRALIA’s most populated state will make way for the biggest chunk of public housing, promised by the Federal Government as part of the recent stimulus package.

At least 48 projects across New South Wales have been identified, as the first projects in part of a $2.9 billion public housing building boom for the State.

Developments are set to be developed around Sydney, Lake Macquarie, Ulladulla and Far South Coast.

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One in Seven Dwellings Within City of Yarra Now Public Housing

FOURTEEN per cent, or one in seven dwellings within the City of Yarra council zone is now allocated as public housing.

According to council, there are 5039 public homes out of 35,960 dwellings within the council area – which encapsulates inner-city suburbs of Abbotsford, Carlton North, Collingwood and Clifton Hill.

This compares to mid-2006, when 4923 dwellings (or 13 per cent of homes) were allocated as public housing.

The number of social dwellings is set to surge within the council area – and throughout metropolitan Melbourne and Victoria – according to agents, architects, builders and planners who agree a commission flat building-boom is starting.

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Australand Consortium to Build Apartment Compound Opposite Melbourne Uni

GIVEN the increasing number of apartment dwellers calling Melbourne’s inner north home, a “direct” trip between the Tullamarine and Eastern freeways – via the zoo and cemetery – can now consume motorist’s an hour, or more, largely because of amplified traffic congestion.

But it would appear in government planning meetings, bottlenecks like that around Elliott Avenue, Macarthur Road and the University of Melbourne have received less consideration than other crisis-ridden road systems – like the ones in suburbs between Seaford and Mt Martha where the $759 million (and many say unnecessary) Peninsula Link was recently given the green light.

Instead, the state government has appointed builder Australand to develop a major apartment compound at one of the inner-city’s last remaining vacant development sites, opposite the Melbourne General Cemetery, the University of Melbourne – and the busy roundabout that connects these two sites to Swanston Street.

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Palms Motel Footscray Sells For $3.2 Million

THE Footscray motel which was until recently to have become Melbourne’s next commission flat complex, has sold to an investor for $3.2 million, and is expected to be re-opened as a hospitality business.

On a 2985 square metre block at the corner of Geelong Road and Catherine Street, the former Palms Motel is near Victoria University, central Footscray and the Maribyrnong River.

The Department of Human Services which is increasingly leasing hotel and motel rooms and facilities to satisfy its growing public housing waiting list, had co-ordinated a lease for the Palms Hotel.

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Office of Housing Buys Former Box Hill Aged Care Facility

287 Station StreetTHE Office of Housing has paid close to $4 million for a disused aged care facility in Box Hill.

Dwellings on the 2480 square metre site, opposite the Box Hill Tennis Club and near the Surrey Hills and Burwood suburb borders, are expected to be refurbished before being made available to public housing tenants.

The purchase continues a trend of the Federal Government, and associated public housing service providers snapping up prevalent development sites all around Melbourne and Victoria.

Some of the biggest public housing projects are currently under construction in Abbotsford, Ashwood, Carlton, Ringwood and Wonthaggi.

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Madden’s Clayton Development One Step Closer

Justin MaddenTHE Monash City Council didn’t want it – but Planning Minister Justin Madden did – and now one of the south-eastern suburb’s biggest public-private housing developments is set to start construction soon, in Clayton.

After more than ten years of debate, a $270 million apartment-based complex will replace a low-rise shopping centre at the busy north-east corner of Dandenong and Blackburn roads.

Approximately 400 apartments will be developed as part of The Nova Centre redevelopment – many to accommodate public housing residents, and students. A hotel and shopping centre will also be built on the site.

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Madden Approves $140 Million in Public Housing Projects in Ashwood, Chadstone

ALP Wants 80000 More by 2012VICTORIAN Planning Minister Justin Madden has paved the way for one of the state’s biggest public housing-based estates to be developed in Melbourne’s south-east.

The $140 million Ashwood Chadstone Gateway project affects six major development sites in Ashwood and Chadstone, near the Chadstone Shopping Centre.

With ministerial approval given on Thursday, the public housing project is expected to start construction in July.

Commission flat towers will rise between four and seven levels at sites around Warrigal Road, the Holmesglen and Jordanville train stations, and around the Ashwood Reserve and Harlequin Rugby Club.

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More Commission Flats for Abbotsford

ANOTHER former commercial building in Abbotsford is being converted into a major residential project.

The former Harold Boot Company factory, at the corner of Gipps and Nicholson streets, is being redeveloped by Common Equity Housing Limited, and the Office of Housing, into a $25 million, five-storey, 59-unit complex.

Twenty five apartments – representing just over 40 per cent of the overall project – will be set aside as public housing, part of the Federal Government’s plan to build 80,000 social and affordable dwellings nationally by 2012.

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Victorian Government to Hand Over One of Melbourne’s Largest Undeveloped Central Sites

THE State Government of Victoria is formalising a plan to redevelop one of central Melbourne’s largest undeveloped sites, at the riverfront junction the CBD merges with Southbank and Docklands.

Between the Mission to Seafarers building at the corner of Wurundjeri Way and Siddeley Street, and stretching almost the length to the Charles Grimes Bridge, the massive 1.24 hectare site, accommodating old industrial sheds in a precinct called Flinders Wharf, has a 230 metre frontage to the Yarra River.

A Registration of Interest campaign was quietly launched by the government this week, seeking advice from consultants and developers to propose a new future for the site, likely to incorporate offices, shops and apartment towers, possibly with a component of affordable and social housing.

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Geelong Commission Flat Site Listed For Private Sale

Geelong's Next Commission FlatsWHILE attention in Geelong’s this week has circled the ‘approved-by-stealth’ public-private housing redevelopment of the city’s former TAFE site, another high profile property – given the green light last year to become one of the federal government’s 80,000 social and affordable new dwellings – failed to sell at auction.

Grey concrete silos at 46 – 48 Mercer Street, at the corner of Roy Street, and near the town centre – has now been listed for private sale through Colliers International at $1.95 million.

A 40-unit affordable housing development has been approved to be developed within the walls of the high-rise silos, prominent on the drive in to Geelong.

The Rudd government aims to substantially boost the number of social and affordable houses nationally by 2012.

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Major $160 Million Public Housing-Based Development Likely to Proceed Near Melbourne Airport

THE VICTORIAN Government has appointed Australand as the preferred builder for one of the state’s largest public and private housing developments.

Australand plans to transform about 18 hectares in the north-west suburb of Westmeadows, near the Melbourne Airport, into a $160 million mixed-use village of apartments, townhouses, aged care accommodation and parks.

The Valley Park project spreads across a dozen Westmeadows streets, including the major Dimboola Road and Erinbank Crescent.

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Minister Justin Madden Approves Controversial Development in Clayton

Justin MaddenAFTER a decade of debate, the Minister for Planning Justin Madden has gone against the local council and approved a major development, at a prominent junction in Melbourne’s south-east suburb of Clayton.

The decision paves the way for a low-rise shopping centre on the north-east corner of Dandenong and Blackburn roads to be demolished, and replaced with towers incorporating about 400 apartments, a hotel, a new shopping centre, and landscaped gardens.

About 10 per cent of units in the project will be set aside for affordable housing. Most of the remaining units will be targeted to students. Sources speculate the project will have an end value of about $270 million.

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Public Housing Residents Want Air Conditioning

PUBLIC housing residents in an award-winning estate, in Shepparton, are resorting to sleeping outside, because their homes are too hot.

One resident of the Channel Estate in West Shepparton described the temperature of their homes as being “like a microwave” – often 10C to 15C hotter than outside.

The Dennis Family Corporation  development won an award for excellence in the Urban Development Institute of Australia in the best affordable development category, the Herald Sun reports.

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VCAT to Decide High Rise Prahran Apartment Tower

PLANS to redevelop Prahran’s former Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind office into a nine-level apartment building have been rejected by the Stonnington City Council, and will be decided by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
 
The prominent 85 – 97A High Street office will be demolished and replaced with a $25 million, 108-unit complex, under a proposal by the site’s new owner.
 
The project would be the tallest apartment tower in Prahran, outside of public housing complexes at the Bangs and Horace Petty estates, which soar 16 levels.

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Whitten Oval, Footscray, to Make Way For More Social Housing

Whitten OvalPART of Footscray’s Western Oval football ground will make way for a $90 million, 251-unit affordable and social housing project, under new plans proposed by the Club.

The Western Bulldogs wants to team with social housing developer HomeGround Services, to build potential high-rise project, at the Geelong Road edge of the Whitten Oval stadium, around the busy Gordon Road onramp (to Geelong Road).

Funding will come from the Federal Labor Government’s Nation Building Fund.

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Commission Flats Earmarked for Melbourne CBD Gateway Site

A LANDMARK CBD building – formerly the Department of Defence Drill Hall – will be developed into Melbourne’s next social housing project.
 
The State Government has sold the prominent 74-year old Art Deco building – with its distinguished double storey pillars – to social housing developer Melbourne Affordable Housing which plans to build an 8-level, 59-unit tower on the triangle site.
 
At an estimated cost of about $30 million, the “gateway” development is mooted for the junction where Victoria Street meets Therry Street, opposite the Ibis Hotel, and the Carlton suburb border.
 

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