77 new sustainable homes in the City of Greater Geelong

Unison Housing is undertaking a substantial urban renewal project at 2-12 Marshall Street, Newtown. The proposed development, approved by the Minister of Planning in December 2023, seeks to transform 22 single-storey units, which are no longer fit-for-purpose, into 77 brand-new self-contained apartments.

Proposed upgrades to the site will increase available housing and improve accommodation standards and include 77 new environmentally sustainable homes, with a range of housing types to be delivered.

Existing renters have been offered support and suitable housing during the rebuild period. In addition, renters have been given first option to move into a new home when the build is complete, which is expected to be early 2026.

Planning approval for this site has been achieved through the Department of Transport and Planning, and Unison and our construction partners are ready to commence works. 

This project is funded by the Homes Victoria Social Housing Growth Fund, as part of the $5.3 billion Big Housing Build. For more information, please refer to https://www.homes.vic.gov.au/social-housing-growth-fund

Unison wants the community to be informed, be able to ask questions, and have an avenue to give feedback on the project.

Fast Facts

  • The project is located on land owned by Unison at Marshall St, Newtown VIC  View the map
  • The Victorian Government is investing over $22 million in the development
  • The development will create 500 jobs, with 60 new jobs created for people in the greater Geelong region from the building industry and other related industry over the next 1-2 years
  • Proposed site improvements will deliver 77 new homes.
  • The development will include Disability Discrimination Act fully accessible homes.

Key Features

  • Landscaped outdoor areas will provide shared open spaces, places to sit, native planting, vegetable gardens and barbecue areas.
  • The building will be designed to provide safe, secure and private accommodation and improve presentation and participation with the surrounding neighbourhood.
  • The project aims to achieve excellent design outcomes. Homes Victoria and the Office of the Victorian Government Architect will also review the design proposal and provide advice and endorsement to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change.
  • We're responding to the changing needs of households in Victoria. The redevelopment will include different types of places to live, including 1, 2 and 3 bedroom homes.
  • The design will be environmentally efficient. That means the homes will be more comfortable, as well as reducing operation costs for residents, including heating and cooling.

Project Timeline

Project Timelines 

  • Phase 1 – Demolition: Jan 24 to March 24 
    Manresa Constructions will complete the removal of all existing buildings that are currently existing on the site. 

  • Phase 2 – Sewer Relocation: March 24 to April 24 
    The existing sewer on the site will be relocated to enable the commencement of basement works onsite. Sewer relocation authority works will be completed by Barwon Water as the responsible authority. 

  • Phase 3 – Construction: April 24 to Early 26 
    Manresa Constructions will complete the construction of the new building. 

  • Phase 4 – Tenanting 2026 
    Unison will establish an office onsite, existing renters will return and the process of tenanting all units will begin.

Community Consultation

The provisions of Clause 52.20, a streamlined planning provision that applies to Big Housing Build projects required Unison Housing to consult with the community and other stakeholders before seeking planning approval.  

On the 2nd May 2023 community consultation was held both in person, and via an online platform for residents and businesses within a 200 metre radius of the development site. The project team presented at the session and responded to questions. Community members were also able to provide further feedback on the development proposal during this consultation period from 30th March to 14th May.

A Report consolidating all consultation activities undertaken was submitted as part of our planning application process. This included feedback from our renters, local community, City of Greater Geelong, Homes Victoria, Office of the Victorian Government Architect, Department of Transport and Planning, utility providers and other stakeholders. 

Download the Consultation Report here.

Key contacts

As part of Unison’s commitment to ensuring the community will remain informed throughout the lifecycle of the project, key contact details for the relevant site supervisor for each stage of the project are included below:

Stage 1 – Demolition - Manresa Construction

Contact Name: Camilla Hodgkins

Phone Number: (03) 9243 6009

Email: camillah@manresa.com.au


Stage 2: Sewer Relocation Works – Barwon Water

Contact Name: Barwon Water

Phone Number: 5226 2500

Email: info@barwonwater.com.au


Stage 3: New Build Works – Manresa Construction

Contact Name: Camilla Hodgkins

Phone Number: (03) 9243 6009

Email: camillah@manresa.com.au



  • Who is running the project?

    The project is led by Unison Housing, a not-for-profit organisation that provides a range of services to foster strong communities. Unison develops, owns and manages social, transitional and affordable housing; and provide owners corporation management and cleaning and ground services.

    Community engagement was run by MosaicLab, an experienced team of community engagement workers. 

  • Why is has this site been chosen to redevelop?

    Unison has chosen 2 – 12 Marshall St because there is a need for more housing in Newtown, and across the City of Greater Geelong. Furthermore, the existing housing requires significant capital improvements to continue to meet renters’ expectations and future needs. Finally, the site is close to parks, schools, shops, public transport and other facilities and is therefore an appropriate location for housing.

  • How many units will be developed on the site?

    Unison have prepared concept plans that meet the mandated planning overlays that apply to this site. The current concept seeks to deliver 77 units across 4 levels.

  • Is this development definitely going ahead?

    Unison are yet to achieve permission to proceed with this proposal. The design proposal, together with feedback from the Office of Victorian Government Architect and the community consultation report will be presented to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change in 2023 and a determination will be made.

  • What is social housing

    Social Housing is short and long-term rental housing that is owned and run by the government or not-for-profit housing providers.

    Social Housing is made up of two types of housing:

      • Public housing, and

      • Community housing

    Unison house a range of people on moderate to low incomes who need housing. Our tenants may include key workers, such as nurses and teachers through to those that have recently experienced homelessness, family violence or have other special needs.



  • When will the formal traffic impact analysis be available for review?

    A detailed traffic impact assessment was prepared by an external consultant and supports the proposal to redevelop the site. It assessed the existing and future volumes of traffic and the potential impact on the road network and road safety. This assessment took into account the traffic impact to the neighbouring properties, schools, and local businesses. 

    The traffic impact assessment is a required planning document. This was issued and approved through the planning approval application process. Unison's development exceeds the statutory parking requirements under the planning overlay of 52.20. 

  • Will parking and traffic be adequate?

    Traffic and car parking would be a key consideration in any development for this site. The relevant authority would need to ensure the development has sufficient car parking for future residents, safe pedestrian access and efficient local traffic connections.

    An initial analysis of the traffic impact has shown there is more than enough capacity of the surrounding road network to cater for residential development at this site.

  • What will you do to ensure safety of the neighbourhood e.g. proximity to children and school?

    Community housing organisations, just like any other landlord, have obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act to ensure that the privacy, peace and quiet enjoyment of neighbouring residents are not affected by tenants and their visitors.

    Tenants who do not meet the obligations of the Residential Tenancies Act and the obligations set out by the community housing organisation can be vacated from the property. The Residential Tenancies Act provides a process for this. Serious criminal behaviour would be dealt with by the police.

    Research shows there isn’t a link between criminal behaviour and affordable housing, in fact there is a greater risk of crime when people don’t have access to safe, secure, affordable housing. (Source: Understanding and addressing community opposition to affordable housing development | AHURI)

  • How can I get further information?

    • Email communications@unison.org.au

Other relevant information

The City of Greater Geelong Social Housing Plan 2020-2041

Social Housing Plan 2021 - 2040


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