The City of Melbourne’s landmark Make Room housing project has been further bolstered with two significant philanthropic grants and updated schematic designs, the Council announced today.
Council says it has now raised $14.5 million for the $20 million project, following $650,000 in donations from the Erdi Foundation and Hansen Little Foundation.
The Make Room project is converting a Council-owned building at 602 Little Bourke Street into up to 50 studio apartments, multi-use spaces and support services for people experiencing homelessness.
“We’re looking forward to delivering this important project to provide safe and supported accommodation for people who are sleeping rough on our city streets,” said Lord Mayor, Sally Capp.
“Melbourne is a caring city – and everyone deserves a safe place to call home and access to vital support services.”
“We set an ambitious target to raise $20 million for the initiative and we’re well on the way to achieving this thanks to the generosity of the Erdi Foundation, the Hansen Little Foundation and all of our other generous donors.”
She said the additional funding builds on existing commitments from the Victorian Government, The Ian Potter Foundation, Gandel Foundation, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and PwC Australia.
Schematic designs for the project have also been finalised, including five levels of studio apartments, and a ground floor and basement with multi-use spaces and opportunities for a social enterprise to be co-located at the site.
Make Room is being delivered by Homes Melbourne, a special entity of the City of Melbourne, created in early 2022 to reduce homelessness and increase safe, secure and affordable housing in the city.
“Every step forward in the Make Room project is advancing the right to housing in Melbourne,” said Health, Wellbeing and Belonging portfolio lead Councillor, Dr Olivia Ball.
“It is so vital people have housing first, giving them a chance to address the causes of homelessness, which are many and varied.”
Early works have already commenced, with structural work to begin in June 2023. Make Room is scheduled to open in mid-2024.