Victorian Housing Minister, the Hon. Richard Wynne MP today launched the construction phase of an exciting $19.6m social housing development for mothers and children in St Kilda.
The “St Kilda Apartments” project, will see three rundown social housing buildings transformed into 50 architect-designed, secure and affordable homes for mothers and children in the area.
Developed and managed by Victorian community housing provider HousingFirst, the project will deliver 36 brand new apartments for mothers and children from the Victorian Housing Register. The two classic Victorian heritage-listed buildings on the site will be restored and upgraded to provide longer-term housing for families escaping violence and at risk of homelessness, and through Sacred Heart Mission’s Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) program. Support providers will deliver specialist health and community support services to residents.
The site will also include unique social and clinical services for homeless women and their infants. The residential accommodation will be managed by HousingFirst and the support and health services hub for mothers and babies will be delivered by project partners Unison, Launch Housing and subject to ongoing funding, the Royal Women’s Hospital.
The $19.6m development is the result of a collaborative combination of funding, including:
Port Phillip Housing Trust ($6.5m towards acquisition of land and construction).
Victorian Department of Health and Human Services ($5m towards acquisition of land).
Consumer Affairs Victoria’s Victorian Property Fund ($8m towards construction); and
Homes for Homes a social enterprise of The Big Issue ($120,000 to deliver one apartment to house a homeless person, through the J2SI initiative and contribute to the build of 36 apartments purpose-designed for pregnant women and their children).
HousingFirst Chief Executive Officer, Haleh Homaei said:
“Through our role as Trustee of the Port Phillip Housing Trust, HousingFirst is so proud to bring yet another vital social housing project to life that fulfils the incredible vision of the City of Port Phillip when it established the Trust.
“Together with the support of State Government, the Victorian Property Fund, City of Port Phillip, Homes for Homes and Sacred Heart Mission, and in collaboration with our other project partners, our goal is to integrate specialist housing, social and health and wellbeing support for women and children in crisis, that will help lift them out of a cycle of adversity.”
Ms Homaei said by locating the affordable housing development for women and children alongside what will be a unique specialist support services hub, HousingFirst will create a special community for vulnerable mums and kids.; “A community built on long-term housing stability as well as safety and health.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Royal Women’s Hospital, Launch Housing and Unison, working together to deliver health and wellbeing services for mothers and babies – especially those at risk of homelessness.
“Safe housing for desperate women and children in St Kilda is at an all-time low. By bringing together the right partners, and with the fantastic support of government, this project has the capacity to lead the way in Australia,” Ms Homaei said.
Project completion is expected in December 2020.
L-R: Victorian Minister for Housing, Richard Wynne MP, HousingFirst Chair Frank O’Connor, Royal Women’s Hospital Chair Lynne Swinburne, City of Port Phillip Mayor Cr Bernadene Voss, CEO Homes for Homes and The Big Issue Steven Persson, HousingFirst CEO Haleh Homaei