The first build under the federal government’s housing acceleration project will be in Melbourne’s inner north.
The old Carlton red brick public housing towers, “uninhabitable” 1960s-era buildings containing 196 dwellings, will be renovated to provide more than 230 new social homes.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was joined in Melbourne on Tuesday by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who said short-term rental operators such as Airbnb were continuing to put “pressure” on the already strained rental market.
“I’m very conscious of the pressure that is placed on communities,” Mr Albanese told the media on Tuesday.
“It’s not surprising that governments are having a look at this, and I know that that is something that has been considered by anyone who actually looks at the housing issue with regard to housing supply.”
Mr Albanese said short-term rentals were a prevalent issue in his own electorate of Grayndler.
“You try to get a rental property in Newtown or Enmore, there have been a range of … issue(s),” he said.
He said Airbnbs created a further “lack of accessibility” amid the ongoing rental and cost of living crises.
Federal Housing Minister Julie Collins flagged support for a regulatory crackdown on the short-term rental market in June, arguing that companies such as Airbnb were reducing the availability of rental homes, particularly in tourism hotspots and regional areas.
Some councils have taken it upon themselves to impose their own interventions, with City of Melbourne voting in-principle for new regulations on short-stay rental accommodation last month.
The new 231 social homes announced on Tuesday will be the first of Victoria’s 769 promised under the “accelerator” investment.
Former residents of the Carlton towers will be invited to return to live in the new homes on the site, which will also be used to house tenants living in other public housing redevelopment projects while they are being built.
The price tag of the new homes in Carlton, expected to be completed in 2028, is still unconfirmed.
“That will be subject to tenders,” Mr Andrews said.
The Premier said he was “very confident” that his government could deliver all of the 769 dwellings planned for the state within the $500m allocated to Victoria under the $2bn national housing fund.
“We’ve got a very good sense of the market,” Mr Andrews said.
“We’re very confident that we can deliver that and perhaps more … maybe with innovative design outcomes in the tender process.
“We may even do better than that.”