Housing Choices Preston

About the project

Our Townhall Avenue, Preston residential development will provide architect-designed, environmentally sustainable affordable homes, delivered through a community housing model that supports residents and builds links with community.

The Townhall Avenue, Preston project is being developed in partnership with Homes Victoria under the Victorian Government’s $5.3 billion Big Housing Build, and in association with the City of Darebin and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

Designed by award-winning architects Six Degrees and Simon Ellis Landscape Architects, the property comprises 39 one and two-bedroom apartments across five levels and includes reprovision of 28 public car parks at ground level. All dwellings are designed to Livable Housing Australia Silver Level, 5 Star Green Star and 7 Star NatHERS ratings.

The site is close to the Preston Library and a block away from the bustling High Street retail precinct. Preston Market and Preston train station are short walks away. The homes will be offered to applicants drawn from the Victorian Housing Register. Housing Choices will deliver both tenancy and property management services for the building and its residential community, as well as community-building initiatives. Housing Choices will have a management office located at the property.

Housing Choices is an award-winning, Victorian-based national community housing provider and developer, with extensive experience in affordable and social housing 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 9 November, 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 from 25 October – 15 November, 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 Moreland, 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

Main concrete structure and external elements: stage completion early 2023

Main structure includes walls, columns, external and internal precast panels/blockwork, level 1 concrete slabs. Mobile cranes will install most vertical elements; horizontal elements will be poured concrete formwork. Visible external elements & the architecture of the building will take shape in this period.

Internal Services & linings: stage completion mid 2023

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 late 2023

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

Practical completion: stage completion late 2023

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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