Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz visited Bendigo today to announce a $2.78 million grant from the Victorian Property Fund to Haven; Home, Safe (HHS) for the construction of 16 dwellings at two sites, totalling 28 bedrooms.

HHS will contribute $1.84 million towards the $4.62 million which will provide long-term affordable rental housing for low income single youth and single young parents at risk of homelessness.

Support services will be a key component of the projects, with tenants of the Flora Hill site able to access the adjoining Sidney Myer Haven youth complex, providing opportunities to participate in life-skill building activities and pre-vocational training programs.

The Flora Hill site, on Somerville Street, will comprise four one-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units, while the North Bendigo site at Lobb Street will be home to eight two-bedroom units. Both sites will be close to the Bendigo CBD, transport, schools, TAFE, community services and employment opportunities.

All dwellings will include a range of environmentally sustainable design features, including heat pumps and solar boosted hot water systems, water saving taps and showerheads, and plumbed rainwater collection tanks to help reduce utility costs.

Rent will be capped at 75 per cent of market rent or 30 per cent of household income.

Community Housing Agency Haven; Home, Safe will oversee the construction and management of the $4.62 million development.

Victoria’s first Registered Housing Association provider, Haven; Home, Safe has been providing services to the homeless and disadvantaged since 1979, and currently owns and manages more than 1900 housing units, accommodating in excess of 3,000 people.

“This is about helping vulnerable young people in and around Bendigo get back on their feet by providing stable and safe long-term accommodation where they need it most,” Ms Kairouz said.

Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said affordable housing projects like these “are vital for low income and disadvantaged young people in our community”.

Tenders for the construction of the Lobb Street project will go out to builders in the coming weeks.