Victoria to replace 44 high-rise public housing towers

The Victorian government has announced a plan to demolish and redevelop 44 high-rise public housing towers in what would be Australia’s biggest urban renewal project.

The project has been proposed in a bid to deliver more social and affordable housing and meet demand for supply.

Constructed between the 1950s and 1970s, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews described the buildings as outdated and no longer fit for modern living standards.

In a published media statement, the Victorian government said the towers would fail current building codes in relation to “noise, sustainability, waste and recycling, bedroom area dimensions, room depth, ventilation, private open space, accessibility and minimum amenity standards.”

“If Homes Victoria undertook only critical capital repairs and maintenance to the 44 towers, it’d cost an estimated $2.3 billion over the next 20 years – roughly $55 million per tower. But even then, their design means many homes would never be able to meet contemporary codes, nationwide energy rating schemes or accessibility needs,” the statement reads.

Two towers in Flemington, one in North Melbourne and two in Carlton are first on the list to be knocked down. Across Flemington and North Melbourne, 503 dwellings will be replaced with 1,800 new homes and in Carlton, 231 homes will replace 196 existing apartments – an increase in home supply of 18 per cent.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the project would be Australia’s biggest urban renewal development.

“It’ll boost social housing by at least 10 per cent across these 44 sites. It’s a massive agenda to reimagine these spaces and rebuild them into the modern, accessible, comfortable homes Victorians expect – and deserve,” he said.

There are approximately 10,000 people living across all 44 towers, a number the state government says will increase to 30,000 people once the sites have been redeveloped. Every tenant living across the 44 towers will be guaranteed a home while the redevelopment rolls out.

Homes Victoria has launched a community consultation phase with residents, which saw them visit every household across each tower last week. Community consultation will ramp up, with Homes Victoria staff to remain onsite at the towers to provide information and support.

The Victorian government’s decision to demolish and redevelop the towers has garnered mixed reactions, with some Victorians in support of the knock down and while others, including architects, have criticized the plan for not considering adaptive re-use options.

The 44-tower rebuild is one component of the Victorian government’s housing statement, which was recently unveiled.

Source: Architecture - architectureau

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