Understanding the assumptions and impacts of the Victorian Public Housing Renewal Program

Final report of a research project with Cities of Moreland, Darebin and Yarra
Urban renewal Housing development Land use Property development Public housing Melbourne Metropolitan Area

The Victorian government’s Public Housing Renewal Program (PHRP) aims to redevelop 11 inner suburban public housing estates in Melbourne. The redevelopment entails the relocation of residents, the demolition of the existing buildings and the redevelopment of each site by a private developer in partnership with a community housing provider. This raises significant concerns about the effectiveness of the policy in delivering housing in a time of severe housing crisis, the impact of displacement on residents and communities, and the assumptions underpinning the PHRP and the real estate model it deploys.

This research project aimed to evaluate the claims of the PHRP and its underlying model in order to establish an accurate evidence base and assess the anticipated impact of the model on public housing residents in Melbourne. To do so, the research used a desk-top review of relevant Australian and international literature, previous evaluations and studies on similar estates, and a policy analysis. This report of findings provides a critical evaluation of the policy claims and an assessment of the likely impact of the PHRP on public housing residents. It also provides an overview about how the policy and program inter-relates with wider trends and other policy frameworks to provide a more nuanced understanding of how the PHRP and its impacts should be understood in the current context.

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