52-60 Townhall Avenue, Preston is an exciting residential, community housing development to be delivered by Housing Choices Australia, one of Australia’s leading and largest community housing providers.
A stunning, contemporary building designed by Six Degrees Architects and Simon Ellis Landscape Architects, the project comprises 39 one and two-bedroom apartments over a six-storey development. To protect existing mature trees on the south west corner of the site a gorgeous pocket park is proposed, providing a soft green element to the structure at ground level. A communal rooftop terrace for residents is planned and an onsite office space is available for Housing Choices to deliver tenancy and property management services to the community. The development has high Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) commitments.
The site is currently a public car park, immediately adjacent to the Preston Police Station and across the road from the much-loved Preston Library. One block away is the bustling High Street retail precinct while Preston High School, Preston Market and the Preston train station are all short walk away. Twenty eight car parks will be available for public use including three that will be dedicated to car share schemes. One additional car park will be assigned to the apartment complex above.
The development is co-funded by Homes Victoria as part of the State Government’s Big Housing Build, with co-investment from Housing Choices Australia as owner and developer, as well as property and tenancy manager.
Headquartered in Melbourne, Housing Choices been operating for over 14 years and currently provides homes for over 8000 Australians, with more than 2000 residents in Victoria. Housing Choices owns and manages 266 residential properties for people in need of affordable homes across the City of Darebin, and has been active in the Preston area for many years.
Streamlined planning processes have been introduced for the Big Housing Build. These processes require community housing providers to consult with the community before applying for planning approval.
Please refer to the Planning Victoria website for more information on the Big Housing Build planning and consultation process: https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/planning-permit-applications/big-housing-build
An online community information session was held on Tuesday 9th November from 5:30pm - 7:00pm AEDT. This session was recorded for members of the community who were not able to attend the session - please see video below. The presentation from the session can also be accessed here: Community consultation presentation - Townhall Avenue Preston
Members of the public were able to provide feedback between 22nd October and 15th November 2021. We thank everybody who took the time to submit feedback.
A consultation report has been prepared to document all the consultation activities that have been undertaken for this project, including consultation with the community, council, Office of the Victorian Government Architect, utility providers and other stakeholders. This consultation report forms part of the application for planning approval.
The duration, extent and manner in which consultation was undertaken was informed by Homes Victoria’s Consultation Guidelines, July 2021. The overall consultation strategy was developed alongside Homes Victoria to ensure that the consultation process aligned with Homes Victoria’s objectives for high quality consultation for all projects funded under the Big Housing Build.
The final consultation report can be viewed at this link: 52-60 Townhall Avenue Consultation Report
In 2020 the Victorian Government announced the largest social and affordable housing building program in Victoria’s history - the $5.3bn Big Housing Build. More than 9,300 new social housing properties will be built or replaced, and more than 2,900 affordable housing properties built over the next 4 years. The initiative will deliver 9000 construction jobs across Victoria.
The Big Housing Build is overseen and managed by Homes Victoria, the State government agency charged with supporting Victorians to secure stable, affordable housing that will enable them to live their best lives and ensure Victoria has a sustainable housing system that will deliver for future generations of Victorians.
Homes Victoria is working with the construction, property development and building sectors, the community housing sector, local Councils, a range of not-for-profit services providers and the broader community to maximise the social and economic benefits for the whole Victorian community.
In September 2021 the Victorian Government announced 89 residential development projects that will deliver 2352 social housing homes for Victorians across Melbourne as part of the Big Housing Build.
One of these projects is 52-60 Townhall Avenue, Preston, where Homes Victoria has granted funding to help Housing Choices Australia deliver this beautiful new project in the City of Darebin.
The community housing sector is a long standing and vital component of the overall Australian housing spectrum - alongside public 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. Public housing is owned by the State and managed by Homes Victoria. Community housing is owned or managed by non-government, not-for-profit, registered housing agencies like Housing Choices Australia and many others.
Community housing providers are regulated by the Victorian Housing Registrar and hold specialist expertise that covers property development, property management, tenancy management and community development. It provides safe and secure homes primarily to those who live on low incomes, very often living with some kind of disability. Community housing providers have decades of experience and are committed under their charters to deliver safe, secure and affordable homes to low-income renters, help residents maintain stable tenancies and ensure they have access to support services that can improve their circumstances and life opportunities.
Who lives in community housing?
Over 20,000 Victorian households currently live in community housing-owned and managed homes and come from all walks of life - single people, couples, young families, older women, newly arrived Victorians and people living with a disability.