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Cooling our high rise towers

Improving comfort and liveability

As Victoria continues to grow and our climate changes, we’re getting on with our commitment to install new air conditioners in public housing high rise towers across metropolitan Melbourne.

Through the high rise redevelopment program, we are building more modern, energy efficient and comfortable homes. However, this is a long-term project that won’t happen overnight.  

We know that extreme heat can have adverse impacts on the health of our renters and the high rise cooling program will ensure renters feel safe and comfortable in their homes until it’s time to relocate.

Timelines and project updates

  • Pilot testing of air conditioners

    April - June 2023

  • Installation planning

    August - December 2023

  • Installation rollout of air conditioners and completion

    2024 - 2026

Frequently asked questions

The high rise cooling program is a 2022 Victorian Government election commitment to improve the comfort and liveability of Melbourne’s ageing public housing high rise towers, making it easier for renters to control the temperature of their homes, particularly during hot weather.

All of the older-style high rise buildings are included in the program except the first five that have been announced for retirement as part of the high rise redevelopment program. 

The first towers announced as part of the high rise redevelopment will not receive cooling as the timeframes for relocation of renters out of North Melbourne and Flemington towers will occur sooner than the possible installation of cooling into these sites.

The Elgin and Nicholson Street Carlton high rise sites are currently untenanted.

Installations will commence in the first half of 2024 and be progressively rolled out with the aim to be completed by 2026. 

The first four sites are all older person’s towers, meaning they house an older demographic of renters who are generally considered more vulnerable to heat health risks. These buildings are: 

  • 150 Victoria Ave, Albert Park
  • 150 Inkerman St, St Kilda 
  • 25 King St, Prahran, and 
  • 27 King St, Prahran 

The first air conditioners will be installed in the first half of 2024 and the entire program is expected to conclude by late-2026.  

Installations at other sites will be informed by the timings of the high rise redevelopment project once determined, which will be progressively delivered by 2051. 

Pilot testing has indicated the average running cost of the new air conditioners is affordable and unlikely to have a significant impact on energy bills.

In March 2023, a new round of the Victorian Government’s Power Saving Bonus program commenced. Victorian households – including public housing renters who received a payment through the previous rounds of the program, are able to receive a $250 payment. To find out more, visit www.compare.energy.vic.gov.au

Public housing renters on low incomes may also be eligible for an energy concession. To find out more, visit services.dffh.vic.gov.au/energy

No. The program is in addition to any special accommodation requirements for an air conditioner related to a medical condition.  

For information about special accommodation requirements, renters can visit www.housing.vic.gov.au or speak with their local housing office. 

While we recommend having an air conditioner installed for your own comfort, it’s your choice.  

If you wish to proceed with the installation, we will work with your household to arrange access times and minimise disruption.

For more information about staying cool during hot weather, visit www.housing.vic.gov.au/cooler-places and www.housing.vic.gov.au/hot-weather  

Contact us

Email icon:

If you have any any questions about the program, please email us and one of our team will be in touch. highrisecooling@homes.vic.gov.au

Need an interpreter?

If you need this information or have questions in another language, please contact the High-Rise Cooling Team highrisecooling@homes.vic.gov.au to request an intepreter.