90+ self-contained homes in development

Did you know that Unison not only manages social and affordable housing but also builds more?

Our property development team works to increase the supply of affordable housing for people who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness and offer safe and modern homes to people who need it most.

Unison Housing believes every person should have a quality, affordable accommodation and belong to a thriving community. That’s why, as part of our Rooming House Renewal Program, we are in the process of transforming two ageing rooming houses into new modern buildings with self-contained units on the fringe of Melbourne’s CBD.


54 homes in Footscray

In Footscray, we have demolished an aged 17-unit block and are replacing it with 54 brand new, self-contained units. Designed with community connections and sustainability in mind, the new building will feature indoor and outdoor communal areas, a secure bike storage facility, and a solar array on the roof to assist in lowering our tenants’ utility costs.

In the new building, residents will have access to self-contained units each fitted with their own kitchen, bathroom and laundry with private open spaces.

A Place Management and Support Program office will also be present onsite to facilitate more active, personalised support, which will assist in sustaining tenancies. 

This project is supported by the Victorian State Government through funding from the Victorian Property Fund on the approval of the Minister for Consumer Affairs and the sale of other Unison rooming houses. The Victorian Property Fund supports Registered Housing Associations, such as Unison, to develop properties to increase the supply of long-term affordable housing for low income and disadvantaged Victorians. 

Project completion is expected in the middle of this year.


Collage of photos of Unison's redevelopment in Footscray


38 apartments for single women in Fairfield

With the support of the Department of Health and Human Services, we are also working on the transformation of a 22-bedroom rooming house into a new development of 38-self-contained units for single women in Fairfield.

In addition to studio and one-bedroom apartments, we are also creating communal and office spaces, in a new building while refurbishing the red-brick heritage building that is part of the fabric of the community. 

Demolition is complete and construction is due to commence in March 2020.


Artistic rendition of Unison's finished revelopment in Fairfield


The greatest benefit of these redevelopments will be felt by the tenants themselves. Many tenants have lived in the properties for some time. People who lived in the Footscray and Fairfield rooming houses prior to the redevelopments will have the opportunity to move into a brand-new apartment. If they choose to return to the property once it is redeveloped, they will come back to accommodation that provides more safety and security, as well as more privacy and amenity.   

“Many Unison tenants have a history of homelessness and, in our experience from other rooming house developments, tenants are really pleased to have self-contained and private housing,” explained Sue Grigg, Director, Housing & Homelessness at Unison.  

On seeing the plans for the rooming house redevelopment, a Unison tenant said, “It’s great to be able to see an outcome where I have my own kitchen and bathroom. I have been waiting for years for this. I’m over the moon.”

Redevelopments like these ones really do transform our tenants’ lives.


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