Sunday, June 23, 2024

Melbourne council makes room for homelessness project

City of Melbourne Council is doing its part to help break the cycle of homelessness as its landmark ‘Make Room’ project approaches completion.        

This week, Council alongside Unison Housing unveiled the first completed studio (pictured) ahead of the project’s official opening in the coming months.   

Council has raised more than $16.1 million for the $24.9 million project, following funding commitments from the Victorian Government and a range of leading philanthropic and corporate partners. 

The Victorian Government has also committed $4.8 million over two years for on-support and specialised tenancy management.  

Make Room is transforming a Council-owned building at 602 Little Bourke Street into 50 studio apartments. The design and service model were co-designed by people with lived experience of homelessness to support the diverse needs of its future residents. 

“I’m so proud that Make Room is almost ready to open its doors. This project will change and save people’s lives,” said Lord Mayor, Sally Capp.

“Everyone deserves access to safe, secure housing and support services – and we’re doing everything we can to help break the cycle of homelessness.     

 “I want to sincerely thank the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust. It’s inspiring to see the philanthropic sector continue to see the value of investing in Make Room and helping those who need it most.”     

Registered housing provider, Unison Housing, is delivering the project, with builder Harris HMC on track to complete works by August 2024.  

“We’re doing what we can during this housing affordability crisis because everyone deserves a safe place to call home. Make Room will set a new standard for transitional supported accommodation in Victoria,” said Health, Wellbeing and Belonging portfolio lead Councillor, Olivia Ball.

Unison Housing CEO, James King said the current housing crisis demands collective action to create meaningful change.

“Make Room exemplifies the power of collaboration between a community housing organisation, local and state government, philanthropic organisations, and the private sector,” he said.

“Our partnership with cohealth ensures that Make Room goes beyond providing shelter, guiding our city’s most vulnerable toward secure long-term housing and a brighter future.”

Cohealth has been confirmed as the on-site provider offering on-site wraparound social and health support services – including mental health, housing, and legal supports, as well as dental, women’s health, and podiatry.        

“Cohealth does vital work every day to improve the lives of people in the City of Melbourne, and I’m delighted we’ll expand our partnership to support residents on-site at Make Room,” said Cr Ball.

Council is encouraging individuals and organisations to pledge their support for Make Room through the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

Latest Articles