Victoria is facing a housing crisis with issues associated with housing affordability and homelessness. As a result of population growth, cost of living pressures and unemployment more people than ever are waiting longer to access public housing, with more than 33,000 on the waiting list.
Research indicates that there is a shortfall of 479 social housing dwellings in the City of Bayside.
Bayside has more than 1000 public housing dwellings, the majority of which are located at seven key sites. Four of the housing estates were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s.
As part of its plan to increase public housing stock, the Victorian Government established the $185 million Public Housing Renewal Program, partnering with private developers to redevelop public housing sites across Melbourne.
The first Bayside site is at New Street in Brighton. With schools, preschools, playgrounds, a maternal child health centre, parks and public transport in close proximity, the site is an ideal location for families.
Council is concerned that the current proposal for New Street only increases the number of public housing dwellings by an additional 13 from 127 to 140, while 170 new private apartments will also be included on the site.
In addition, the proposal shows a lack of consideration for the family demographic of the area, with only one and two bedroom dwellings proposed.
While Council is supportive of the program, it also wants to ensure that the rare opportunity to increase public housing supply in Bayside, particularly for families, is realised along with ensuring established good design principles are followed.
Community feedback on this issue
“We are concerned that a the rare opportunity to increase public housing supply in Bayside is being missed, with development sites including very little new public housing.” John Balmer Hampton Neighbourhood Association, Vice President
Council wants to ensure a maximum increase in the availability of public housing for individuals and families as part of the program. To achieve this objective, Council is seeking that any new public housing developments in Bayside:
- Maximise public housing availability
- Respond to the demographic needs of Bayside
- Include increased numbers of dwellings suitable for families who will benefit from Bayside’s excellent access to services, support and transport
- Follow best practice design principles
The Public Housing Renewal Program provides an opportunity for Council and the Victorian Government to work in partnership to achieve positive outcomes for public housing in Bayside.
The New Street project could be an exemplar of what can be achieved through collaboration and best practice design; to respond to public housing needs and achieve the best outcomes for our community.