In March 1939 the Housing Commission of Victoria purchased 10 acres of land in Preston. The site was known as the Huttonham Estate, as it was close to the Hutton’s factory, a potential employer of the residents.
The site was one of the first to be purchased by the Housing Commission after it came into being and the Huttonham Estate was one of the first to be developed. By the middle of 1940, 80 homes had been erected.
By 2011, the remaining public housing on the site was demolished. At the time the Baillieu Government released tender documents for a redevelopment project. The tender allowed for the inclusion of “up to 25” public housing units.
For reasons that are not known, the project never proceeded and the site has been dormant ever since.
Now the Andrews government has revealed plans to spend $20 million on the state-owned land to build 68 public housing units.
The government will submit its planning application to the Darebin City Council before the end of this month.
“The VPTA are delighted to hear that this vacant public housing land will finally be put to good use.”
“All that we ask is that the proposals be implemented as soon as possible.”
“It beggars belief that the land has sat vacant for so long. But we have to focus on the future.”
“We welcome today’s decision and we look forward to new public housing tenants calling the Huttonham Estate home in the very near future.”
What we have said.
The Age 27/9/15
“called for an audit of all vacant public housing land in Victoria.”
The Age 23/8/15
“The Victorian Public Tenants Association wants “greater innovation and imagination” to fight the growing public housing waiting list.
It said the Victorian government held “large tracts” of vacant land, including the Huttonham Estate.
The association’s executive officer Mark Feenane called for an audit of vacant land as a “starting point”.
“Doing nothing is not an option, the waiting list will just get longer,” he said.”
Submission to the Affordable Housing Working Group March 2016
“The portfolio of vacant land includes some significant sites, such as the Huttonham Estate in Preston, bound by Stokes, Penola, Showers and Bell streets. This large site has been untouched since 2011, when approximately 80 public housing dwellings were demolished.”