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About the project

The Essex Street public housing site is being redeveloped as part of the Victorian Government’s $5.3 billion Big Housing Build. This is the largest ever investment into social and affordable housing and will tackle the growing problem of housing affordability by:

  • constructing more than 9,300 new social homes
  • constructing 2,900 affordable homes
  • creating 10,000 jobs per year over 4 years across Victoria.

We’re redeveloping Essex Street through a housing redevelopment model called a ground lease. Under the ground lease model, we will lease land at sites to a project group. The project group will design, build, manage and maintain the housing for the next 40 years, enabling the land to remain in public ownership.

Modern, energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable homes will replace the existing 63 social homes at Essex Street. These homes will include a mix of social, affordable and market rental homes. The redevelopment will achieve a 10% increase in social housing and provide more housing options for people on low and medium incomes.

Did you know?

Location map

The 5,780 sqm site at Essex Street is located just 4kms from Melbourne’s CBD in the infrastructure-rich suburb of Prahran in the City of Stonnington. The site has land capacity to provide more homes for more Victorians, and is ideally positioned close to public transport, jobs, and community services. (View on the map.)

A house with a door and a a chimney

The new homes at Essex Street will include 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes to better meet housing demand in Victoria. Future housing at the Essex Street site will also include flexible design features that enable the mix of bedrooms in homes across the development to be adapted over time to accommodate changes in housing demand.

Person in wheelchair approaching wide doorway

New homes at Essex Street will include specialist disability accommodation.

A house with a door and a a chimney

New homes 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.

Illustration of two trees

The redeveloped Essex Street site will better integrate with the surrounding neighbourhood and provide quality spaces that the wider community can enjoy.

A construction worker wearing a hard hat

The project will create approximately 4500 jobs across the Essex Street site and other Ground Lease Model sites located in Hampton East, Port Melbourne and South Yarra.

Community consultation

Between Tuesday 28 June and Wednesday 20 July 2022, we hosted stage one community consultation. Community consultation helps encourage early ideas to shape the future of the site. Thank you to everyone who took part in this consultation process.

Engagement included:

  • a community drop-in session,
  • community focus group,
  • an online survey,
  • and targeted interviews and meetings with key stakeholders.

You can read more about stage one engagement for Essex Street on the Engage Victoria website.

We will provide the community with a detailed report on the outcomes of stage one engagement on Essex Street in early 2023.

In mid to late 2023, we will carry out a second stage of community consultation. This stage of consultation is likely to be guided by our Clause 52.20 Big Housing Build planning pathway.

What happens next?

Our current priority is to support the relocation of current residents at Essex Street by early 2023, as demolition of this site will commence by mid 2023.

We are also currently going through a confidential procurement process to identify a suitably qualified project group. This group will redevelop Essex Street in Prahran, as well as sites in Port Melbourne, Hampton East and South Yarra.

We will provide feedback from our community engagement to the competing project groups so they can prepare their proposals.

We will appoint a suitably qualified project group around mid to late-2023. The project group will deliver the redevelopment of Essex Street and other sites in the ground lease model project.

Later in 2023, we will host Stage 2 community engagement to consult with community about proposed future plans for Essex Street.

Pending community consultation and planning approval processes, the main works construction will commence in 2024 with renters able to return to their new housing from 2026.

Target timeline

  • Project announcement

    December 2021

  • Residents at Essex Street are supported to relocate

    December 2021 onwards

  • Stage 1- community consultation

    June-July 2022

  • Enabling works

    Early 2023

  • Appointment of project group to deliver project

    Mid-late 2023

  • Stage 2- community consultation

    Mid-late 2023

  • Main works construction commencement (pending approvals)

    Early 2024

  • Construction completion

    From late 2025

  • Renters welcomed back to new homes

    From early 2026

Contact us

Email icon:

For more information about the redevelopment of the Essex Street housing site in Prahran please contact us: enquiries@homes.vic.gov.au

Phone icon:

1800 950 100

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For languages other than English, please call 131 450