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Essex Street, Prahran

About the project

Homes Victoria together with not-for-profit project partner, Building Communities including builder, ICON is redeveloping the Essex Street housing site, in Prahran to provide more social, affordable, market and specialist disability rental homes. 

The project will help to improve housing affordability by building 155 new modern and energy efficient homes in places where people want to live while also achieving a 37% increase in social housing.

New site features will be delivered as part of this project including a space for a cafe, along with quality green open spaces and landscaped zones which will further complement Prahran’s diverse and active community. 

All new homes at Essex Street will be delivered under a Ground Lease Model where Homes Victoria leases the land to Building Communities to finance, design, build, manage and maintain the new housing over a 40-year term. This means that all land will remain in public ownership. There will be no sale of public land.

Project update

We have now received planning approval from the Minister for Planning to deliver this important housing project.

Builder, ICON will continue securing and preparing the Essex Street site ahead of construction which is due to commence by late 2024.

Once the new homes are complete, they will be managed by one of Victoria’s leading not for profit housing organisations – Community Housing Limited (CHL). CHL will be based at the site delivering tenancy management services and regular maintenance, along with community development programs.

Fast Facts

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The 5,780 square metre Essex Street project is located just 4km from Melbourne’s city centre in the suburb of Prahran and is ideally positioned close to public transport, jobs, shops and services.

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The previous 63 social homes at Essex Street will be replaced with 155 new homes that will include a mix of 1-, 2-, 3- and 4- bedrooms to better meet housing demand in Victoria. All previous tenants of Essex Street will be invited to return once the project is complete and will retain their existing rights and conditions including a secure lease.

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The new homes at Essex Street will be leased for a 40-year term to not-for-profit project partner, Building Communities which includes ICON as the builder, and Community Housing Limited as the community housing provider. All the land at Essex Street will remain in public ownership. There will be no sale of public land.

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New social housing at the site will be more comfortable and less expensive to heat and cool with a 5-star Green Star rating, and 7-star NatHERS average rating.

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New homes at Essex Street will include specialist disability accommodation.

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The Essex Street development will better integrate with the surrounding neighbourhood and provide quality spaces that residents and the community can enjoy, including a community garden and space for a café.

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The Ground Lease Model 2 projects located in South Yarra, Hampton East, Port Melbourne and Prahran will support approximately 7,600 jobs across the Victorian economy.

Community consultation

We held two stages of consultation on the Essex Street project to hear feedback from the community about our plans to redevelop the site.

Stage one community consultation was held between June and July 2022, and stage 2 community consultation was held between November and December 2023.

Feedback received during the consultation period helped to inform our final plans to redevelop the site and we would like to thank everyone who took part in this process.

For more information about how we engaged the community and to download the consultation report for this project, please visit our Simmons Street and Essex Street Engage Victoria webpage.

You can also read the stage 2 consultation summary report for the Essex Street project here. 

Project timeline

  • Project announcement

    December 2021

  • Residents at Essex Street supported to relocate

    December 2021 onwards

  • Stage 1- community consultation

    June-July 2022

  • Enabling works

    Early 2023

  • Appointment of project group to deliver project

    Late 2023

  • Stage 2- community consultation

    23 November - 20 December 2023

  • Main works construction commencement (pending approvals)

    Late 2024

  • Construction completion

    By the end of 2026

  • Renters welcomed back to new homes

    From late 2026

Fact sheets

Translated Factsheets

Contact us

Email icon:

For information about the redevelopment of Essex Street in Prahran please contact ICON’s 24-hour hotline on (03) 9389 3619 or email community.questions@icon.co.

For more information, or to receive information in another language or an accessible format, please email. prahran@homes.vic.gov.au