• Social and affordable housing

Public Housing Estate improvement opportunities in Port Phillip

Published 5 May 2022
A city that offers quality and accessible public housing.

The contents of this page have been archived. This represents Council’s advocacy position prior to the 2022 State and Federal elections.

For updated information on any of these projects, please contact Council.

Major improvement of public housing estates is a critical means for growing the supply and diversity of affordable housing in the City of Port Phillip to address priority local housing needs, including for the most disadvantaged and marginalised.

What is the ask?

Council is requesting the Victorian Government to fund an estate improvement pipeline across the municipality, either through a long-term development pipeline program or the Big Housing Build program.

What is the issue this initiative will address?

The shortage of secure and affordable housing is an issue for many residents.

In the City Port Phillip, six per cent of the population live in social or public housing. With a growing population, demand on our public housing is increasing.

What is Council proposing?

Major estate improvement will increase the yield, quality and mix of social housing and provide opportunities to better integrate sites within local neighbourhoods and deliver shared public open spaces and community facilities. 

Council officers have identified seven priority public housing estates across Port Phillip that would benefit from major improvement:         

  • Emerald Hill Court Estate, South Melbourne
  • Barak Beacon Estate, Port Melbourne
  • Stokes Street walk-up, Port Melbourne
  • Inkerman Heights Estate, St Kilda
  • Pinaroo Village, St Kilda
  • Bay-Nott Estate, Port Melbourne
  • Park Towers (rear car park), South Melbourne.

Major improvement of these estates provides an opportunity to achieve additional and higher quality social housing and broad public benefit. Council is willing to play a role and assist with community engagement, due to our understanding of the local community, to ensure that the engagement is fully effective.

These projects have the potential to achieve a range of social benefits including:

  • Yield - significant increase in affordable and social (public and community) housing units and net new beds
  • Housing mix – potential for a range of housing types, options include public, community, affordable and private (market) housing
  • Design - exemplar built form, inclusive design and sustainability strategies for the wellbeing of residents and community
  • Neighbourhood integration - integration of the housing mix within estates and integration of the estate with surrounding communities from a contextual response and broader public benefits
  • Broader public benefit - integration and delivery of community spaces and facilities (including the potential for social enterprises or not-for-profit support services to residents), and public open space to benefit the wider community, including disadvantaged households and to increase support from the local community.

How does this initiative align with the Council Plan and Victorian Government Priorities?


Council Plan 2021-31: Inclusive Port Phillip - a City that is a place for all members of our community, where people feel supported and comfortable being themselves and expressing their identities.

  • We will advocate for the Victorian Government, community housing organisations, and the philanthropic and private development sectors to facilitate new affordable and social housing within the municipality, including the renewal of existing social housing sites.

These projects are consistent with the target outcomes identified in our strategy, In Our Backyard- Growing Affordable Housing in Port Phillip 2015 – 2025: For example, a commitment to support for partnering with the Victorian Government to facilitate redevelopment of public housing estates.

Victorian Government

The project supports the goals and outcomes outlined under the Big Housing Build - Social Housing Growth Fund-Round 4: Redevelopment of Director of Housing sites.

How does this initiative assist the community to recover from COVID-19?

  • creates short-term construction jobs and long-term jobs in services and housing management
  • fosters community connection and collaboration through effective integration of the estate into the surrounding area and community and through provision of broader public benefits
  • assists people who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 through increasing affordable housing for very low and low-income households, particularly for persons on the Priority Access category of the Victorian Housing Register
  • helps integrate the estate into the local community by introducing a housing mix and community housing management
  • supports local traders and businesses by increasing the number of dwellings adjoining the Clarendon Street Shopping Centre.

Cost and current status?


The cost of these projects is unknown and will require the preparation of estate masterplans and yield studies. 


These seven estates were identified by City of Port Phillip in 2018 as being priority estates for consideration. This is subject to work being undertaken with Homes Victoria to consider future opportunities for the sites.