Housing Choices North Melbourne

About the Project

Our Shiel Street, North Melbourne residential development will provide architect-designed, environmentally sustainable social housing homes, delivered through a community housing model that supports residents and builds links with community.

The Shiel Street, North Melbourne project is being developed in partnership with Homes Victoria under the Victorian Government’s $5.3 billion Big Housing Build.

Designed by Claire Cousins Architects and Tract Consultants Landscape Architects, the property comprises 78 one, two and three-bedroom apartments across nine levels above Shiel Street and includes car and bicycle parking. All dwellings are designed to Livable Housing Australia’s Silver Level, 5 Star Green Star and 7 Star NatHERS ratings.

The development is close to local shops and amenities, public transport, North Melbourne Recreation Reserve, North Melbourne Pool and Royal Park, as well as schools and hospitals. Homes will be offered to applicants drawn from the Victorian Housing Register. On completion, Housing Choices will maintain an on-site office and deliver both tenancy and property management services for the building and its residential community, as well as community-building initiatives.

Housing Choices is an award-winning, Victorian-based, national, community housing provider and developer, with extensive experience in affordable and social tenancy and property management, and community-building.

Community Consultation

The provisions of Clause 52.20-4, a streamlined planning provision that applies to Big Housing Build projects required Housing Choices to consult with the community and other stakeholders before applying for planning approval. On 29 September 2021, a community information session was held online for residents and businesses within 150m of the proposed development site. The project team presented at the session and responded to questions. Community members were also able to provide further feedback on the development proposal during the consultation period; 16 September-18 October 2021.

A Report consolidating all consultation activities undertaken was submitted as part of our planning application process. This included feedback from the local community, City of Melbourne, Office of the Victorian Government Architect, utility providers and other stakeholders.

What is Community Housing?

Over 20,000 Victorian households currently live in community housing-owned and managed homes. They are from all walks of life – single people, couples, young families, older women, newly arrived Victorians and people with disability.

The community housing sector is a long standing and vital component of the Australian housing spectrum, alongside public housing and private housing. ‘Social housing’ is an umbrella term that includes both public housing and community housing. It generally indicates housing that involves some degree of rental subsidy. In Victoria, public housing is managed by Homes Victoria. Community housing is owned or managed by non-government, not-for-profit, registered housing agencies like Housing Choices.

Community housing providers are regulated by the Victorian Housing Registrar and hold specialist expertise in property development, property management, tenancy management and community development. We provide safe and secure homes to those who live on low incomes, often with disability. We are committed under our charter to deliver safe, secure and affordable homes to low-income renters, help residents maintain stable tenancies, and ensure they have access to support services and live in communities that will improve their circumstances and life opportunities.

The Big Housing Build

Under the $5.3bn Big Housing Build announced in 2020, the Victorian Government in partnership with community housing providers and developers, will deliver 12,000 new social and affordable homes while generating 10,000 jobs each year over the four year program.

Project target milestones

Works below ground and main support base for the building: stage completion late 2022

All retaining structures, for below ground and drilled piles that transfer load of building down to  solid founding layers (rock) includes: structural concrete beams that connect the piles, main raft slab under the core of the building; (lift shafts & stair shafts) basement/car park slab.

Main concrete structure and external elements: stage completion late 2023

Main structure includes walls, columns, external and internal precast panels, structural concrete slabs from ground floor to level nine and lift over run. A tower crane will install most vertical elements; horizontal elements will be poured concrete formwork, transferred from floor to floor. Visible external panels pre-finished with brick tiles and textured moulds; the architecture of the building will take shape in this period.

Internal Services & Linings: stage completion early 2024

All the concealed services including water, power, fire systems, storm water and waste system. Finishes include the plaster, joinery, balcony floor finishes and paint.

External works and waterproofing: stage completion early 2024

External balcony areas, ground level entries and lobbies as well as landscaping. External applied finishes and external ceilings. Power connection to the internal substation will enable commissioning of all building services (electrical, heating, cooling, ventilation, lifts, fire systems, and plumbing) and testing of systems.

Practical completion: mid 2024

Practical completion follows a testing and certification period where all safety systems are tested and certified by independent consultants; once approved by a building surveyor, a certificate of occupancy is issued.

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