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The Victorian Government is proposing to redevelop public housing at Bills St, Hawthorn.


The project is part of the Victorian Government’s Public Housing Renewal Program and is being managed by the Department of Health and Human Services.

A substantial part of the site will be sold off to enable the development of 295 private apartments, to fund the construction of 59 public housing units. This involves the replacement of two to three storeys walk-up flats with towers up to 10-storeys high.

The Department is also seeking to make the Minister for Planning  the responsible planning authority for the project and to remove any third party rights to object or appeal from Council and the community.

Council is currently advocating to the Victorian Government to reconsider its approach to delivering public housing projects. We are calling for an increase in the number of public housing dwellings and for Council to remain the responsible authority for assessing and determining redevelopment proposals.

Our concerns with the proposal

  • Only a 10 per cent increase in public housing units are proposed, compared to the number previously occupying the site. With a public housing waiting list of 35,000 people across Victoria, we want more public housing and less private housing.
  • Public land that could be utilised for additional public housing is being sold to developers to construct private housing.
  • Poor integration between public and private housing.
  • The exclusion of Council and the community from the normal planning process.
  • The highest building around the site is currently five storeys. The proposal to build towers up to 10-storeys high is out of character and will negatively impact on the amenity of its neighbours.
  • The height of the proposed development contradicts the Victorian Government’s own residential zones. The Bills Street site has a mandatory three storey height limit.
  • The substantial increase in density will impact on local traffic and parking conditions.

Further information

What you can do

Contact the Ministers to voice your concerns:

Minister for Planning

Phone: (03) 8683 0964

Email: [email protected]

Minister for Housing

Phone: (03) 9096 7500

Email: [email protected]

Timeline of activities



21 August 2017

The Upper House initiated a Parliamentary Inquiry into the Public Housing Renewal Program

9 August 2017

A ward meeting was held where Council and local residents discussed the Victorian Government’s proposal.

3 July 2017

Council adopted an Urban Design Framework for Bills Street, Hawthorn, in response to the proposal by the Department of Health and Human Services

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