Olympia Housing Initiative

One of the homes built through the Olympia Housing Initiative

The initiative is a 10-year plan to revitalise Heidelberg West, Heidelberg Heights and Bellfield with an investment of at least $160 million.

The project began in 2012 with the goal to redevelop at least 600 unsuitable or outdated public housing properties – some built in the mid-1950s – with newly-constructed housing that better meets the needs of Victorians.

The project will raise the quality of public housing and contribute to making better neighbourhoods, improving streetscapes and amenity and creating a balanced and sustainable mix of public and private housing.

The construction of new housing is funded by selling vacant or aged public housing properties in the area.

More than 900 households in Heidelberg West, Heidelberg Heights and Bellfield have been spoken to by the project team. Of these, more than 500 expressed interest in participating.

Recent progress

In July 2016 the Minister for Housing officially opened a new $4.4 million state-of-the-art ‘village-style’ residential development in Perth Street, Heidelberg West for single people, families and older persons.

On 1 December 2016, the Minister further announced that low-rise public housing in ‘walk-up’ buildings at Bell / Bardia Streets and Tarakan Street in Heidelberg West would be redeveloped as part of a $185 million renewal program. This program will increase the existing amount of social housing on-site by at least 10 per cent.

More than 230 households in the project area have moved into either new-built homes or more suitable housing, both within and outside the area.

Status at March 2017

  • 179 new dwellings have been constructed as part of the project with another 45  to be delivered by end June 2017
  • Since the announcement of the Public Housing Renewal Program in late 2016, department staff met with residents and local community stakeholders on the 3 March 2017, as part of phase 1 of the engagement process for the Bell/Bardia and Tarakan estate renewal. These meetings provided participants with some further context for the program and sought initial feedback on local values and aspirations for the renewal project along with ideas for the redevelopment and planning process.

Next steps

Consultation

Stage 2 - May 2017

This will involve consultation sessions which will show and explain the sketch plan for the Bell/Bardia and Tarakan estates and ask the community and stakeholders for their feedback on the plans. This feedback will then be considered to develop the formal development plans.

Stage 3 - anticipated to start in August 2017

The community will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the draft plans through the formal consultation process and will be invited to a DHHS run session which will explain the draft plans and the formal consultation process.

The plans will then go to a special Public Housing Standing Advisory Committee for review before going to the Minister for Planning by the end of the year.

Relocations

We will need to temporarily move residents as part of the redevelopment process.

We anticipate that we will start conversations about relocations with residents from mid-2017 and we will provide plenty of notice and support to assist with their relocation.

We understand that moving home can be stressful. To help make moving during the renewal process as smooth as possible, we will:

  • talk and meet with residents to help them understand the relocation process
  • help them understand their options for moving to a new home
  • ensure we apply relevant processes fairly
  • ensure we consider the Charter of Human Rights when making decisions about any move, and
  • work with residents to provide a number of options when we ask them to move to a new home.

Residents whose homes will be replaced as part of the renewal program, will have the opportunity to return to the estate, if the new homes suit their housing needs.

We’ll work closely with residents during all stages of this program to ensure they have ample time to consider their housing options, preference for new location and to minimise disruption.  We’ll meet the costs associated with the move.

If a resident would prefer to move away from the estate permanently, we’ll work closely with them to find a suitable permanent home.

What we will do in 2016-17

In 2016-17 we will:

  • build at least 79 new properties
  • work with more than 100 tenants awaiting suitable housing in the postcode area
  • continue with planning to redevelop larger sites in the area
  • keep tenants and interested locals informed with community engagement and consultation sessions relating to the walk-up buildings on the housing estates identified for renewal in Heidelberg West.

One of the homes built through the Olympia Housing Initiative

One of the new single-storey homes built as part of the initiative

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