A road map for affordable housing

Find out the latest information on the Harris Transportable Housing Project

In a first of a kind collaboration 57 new affordable one bedroom homes will be located on vacant land in Melbourne’s inner west, providing stable housing for people who have been priced out of the private rental market.

The unique partnership between major philanthropic donors Geoff and Brad Harris, Launch Housing, Vic Roads, and the Department of Health and Human Services will add much needed affordable housing stock to the Melbourne market.

With access to nine parcels of vacant land in the inner west of Melbourne, Launch Housing will build 57 transportable homes, providing a boost to affordable housing supply for low income singles and couples.

Brad Harris said growing levels of homelessness in Victoria is a serious concern that requires a whole of community response. “We hope to encourage other private donors to see social housing as a sector that really needs more private funding assistance. We will all benefit from working together to end homelessness,” Mr Harris said.

Launch Housing Deputy CEO and Director of Services Dr Heather Holst said the partnership would benefit a growing number of single adults and couples who are at risk of homelessness due to the lack of affordable housing in Melbourne.

“Single adults are one of the largest group of people currently experiencing great difficulty accessing and maintaining affordable housing right now. This new partnership with Vic Roads will allow us to offer accommodation to people who really need a break. They can’t get into private rental due to the high costs and they often don’t qualify or have to wait up to a decade to access public housing,” Dr Holst said.

“This project has the potential to grow and extend to other government and non-government bodies who hold blocks of vacant land that can be used to create high quality, relocatable housing to dramatically reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness in Melbourne.”

Details of the partnership
Vic Roads will allow Launch Housing to develop nine parcels of vacant lands in the inner western suburbs of Melbourne (Footscray and Maidstone) creating 57 new affordable homes. Brad and Geoff Harris have provided a major philanthropic donation of $4 million to fund most of the building costs.

The lease (set at a peppercorn rent) will be held by the Department of Health and Human Services and Launch Housing will sub lease the land from DHHS. The lease will be set at an initial period of five years with a 12 month notice to vacate clause should Vic Roads require the land to be returned. Launch Housing will guarantee the rehousing of tenants if they need to be relocated at any point in the future.