Revamping Melbourne’s Historic Towers Builds 230+ New Social Homes Amidst Rental Crisis


Under the federal government’s initiative to expedite housing projects, the inaugural construction will kick-off in Melbourne’s inner north. The once perceived “uninhabitable” Carlton red brick public housing towers, a relic from the 1960s accommodating 196 dwellings, are due for a revamp to become more than 230 new social homes.

In Melbourne on Tuesday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was joined by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. The Prime Minister emphasized the intensifying “pressure” on the already burdened rental market from short-term rental platforms like Airbnb.

Prime Minister Albanese expressed his awareness of the subsequent strain placed on communities and iterated, “It’s not surprising that governments are having a look at this, and I know that that is something that has been considered by anyone who actually looks at the housing issue with regard to housing supply.”

According to the Prime Minister, the issue of short-term rentals was particularly significant in his own electorate of Grayndler. He stated, “You try to get a rental property in Newtown or Enmore, there have been a range of issue(s).” He added that platforms such as Airbnb further exacerbate the “lack of accessibility” amid the concurrent rental and cost of living crises.

In June, Federal Housing Minister Julie Collins expressed support for stronger regulatory measures on the short-term rental market, positing that companies like Airbnb are curtailing the availability of rental homes particularly in tourism hubs and regional vicinities.

Some local governments have taken the liberty to implement their own measures. Last month, the City of Melbourne preliminarily agreed to new regulations on short-term rental accommodations.

The new 231 social homes, announced this Tuesday, will be the initial phase of the 769 new homes pledged under Victoria’s “accelerator” investment. The former inhabitants of the Carlton towers will receive invitations to relocate to the new homes upon completion. Also, the revamped buildings will temporarily accommodate tenants from other public housing makeover projects during their construction phases.

Details regarding the cost of these Carlton homes, projected to be completed by 2028, are yet to be ascertained. Premier Andrews explained, “That will be subject to tenders.”

However, Premier Andrews expressed confidence in his government’s capacity to complete all the 769 planned dwellings within the state allocated $500m under the $2bn national housing pool. Adding to his optimism, he said, “We’ve got a very good sense of the market. We’re very confident that we can deliver that and perhaps more … maybe with innovative design outcomes in the tender process. We may even do better than that.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here