Concept design for Aireys Inlet Affordable Housing Project


A community advisory group has co-designed a concept for the Aireys Inlet Affordable Housing Project, highlighting another avenue that Surf Coast Shire Council has taken to address the affordable accommodation crisis.

At its May meeting, Council adopted the Affordable Accommodation Action Plan 2024 and endorsed the concept design for the Aireys Inlet Affordable Housing Project. The latter is a key step in the development of social and affordable housing on Council-owned land at 2 Fraser Drive.

Council proposes to enter a 50-year lease for the land with not-for-profit housing provider Housing Choices Australia, for an annual fee of $1. Council will work with Housing Choices Australia to seek appropriate funding for the development.

Councillor Libby Stapleton thanked the 11 local representatives who co-designed the concept with Council and Housing Choices Australia.

“The enthusiastic community members provided valuable local knowledge and views which have shaped the concept design. I know the Aireys community is pleased to reach this important milestone and, like me, they’re keen to watch the next stages unfold,” Cr Stapleton said.

“The concept design shows the proposed layout of buildings, private and public open space, and internal roads and parking. There are also guiding principles for the development including being community and socially-focused, an environmentally-sustainable design and respecting the existing landscape.”

The land currently has four social housing dwellings, with existing residents to be supported throughout the development process.

Housing Choices Australia will be able to use the concept design and Council’s intention to lease the land to apply for funding for the detailed design and construction.

“The lease option avoids the permanent loss of a valuable asset and allows Council to retain control of the community garden and pathway, without the need to subdivide. It also reduces the steps in the planning process, enabling Housing Choices Australia to get moving with funding opportunities,” Cr Stapleton said.

The proposed lease will be publicly advertised and there will be a four-week submission period. Feedback will be considered by Council at a future meeting, along with recommended next steps. There will be further community engagement opportunities during the detailed design phase, with more detailed planning of the development to occur at a later date.

Cr Stapleton said the Fraser Drive development was a standout project in Council’s Affordable Accommodation Action Plan 2024.

“Improving access to affordable residential accommodation is one of our goals, as we recognise the economic and social impacts that a lack of affordable housing is having on our communities,” she said.

“We’ve heard that community members are being priced out of the market and struggling to find rentals. Subsequently, businesses are finding it difficult to attract workers.”

The Affordable Accommodation Action Plan 2024 takes into account the shifting challenges of housing affordability and the opportunities presented at a state and federal level, including the Victorian Government’s Big Housing Build.

“I’m proud that we’re playing our role and look forward to building on recent achievements such as our Tiny Houses on Wheels Pilot, our continued advocacy efforts to other levels of government, and the progress on the Aireys Inlet Affordable Housing Project,” Cr Stapleton said.

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