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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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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Federal Government’s Beleagured NRAS Suffers Another Setback

THE federal government’s ailing National Rental Affordability Scheme has suffered a convenient setback.

The $623 million initiative – introduced by Kevin Rudd in 2008, and then part-cut by Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan in recent budgets – has lost another private sector backer which was to have provided 255 affordable housing units in Coburg.

Developer Hamton, with joint venture partner Macquarie Real Estate Investment Equity Fund, has quietly rescheduled the start date of its contentious Coburg High School redevelopment – Circa (artist impression, above).

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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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Doncaster Public Housing Block Reaches Full Height

MELBOURNE’s next public housing tower – a 10-level, 98-unit complex opposite Doncaster Shoppingtown – has reached its full height.

A “topping” ceremony will be held this Thursday to celebrate the suburb’s new landmark – with Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness (and Sport  and Indigenous Employment and Economic Development) Mark Arbib likely to attend. State government representatives, and the developer, Bendigo-based not-for-profit group Loddon Mallee Housing Services will also be there.

The 95 – 99 Tram Road affordable housing complex is being funded using money from the Commonwealth Government’s Nation Building Economic Stimulus which aims to deliver 4500 new rental homes for low income earning Victorians.

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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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Minister approves $140m public housing project

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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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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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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VicUrban Announces Plans for $100 Million Office and Apartment Complex, Abutting Footscray Train Station

VICURBAN is proceeding with plans to build a major office building, and two apartment developments on a prominent, but disused 1.3 hectare block, abutting the Footscray train station, in Melbourne’s inner west.
The government’s sustainable land development arm is calling for submissions to develop three sites around McNab Avene, a former bowling green bound by the Footscray Market, Victoria University, and two train lines.
Government agencies, believed to be State Trustees and City West Water, will fully occupy the 15,000 square metre office, while the apartment towers, one of which could rise some 14-levels, will be a mix of traditional “own your own” units, student accommodation and affordable housing.

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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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