Making room for Melburnians in need

Monday 20 May 2024


Unison and the City of Melbourne are helping break the cycle of homelessness as the landmark Make Room project approaches completion.

Make Room is a unique partnership that will give our most vulnerable community members a safe and secure roof over their head and access to life-changing support services.

Last week, alongside Council, Unison unveiled the first completed studio ahead of the project’s official opening in the coming months.

These announcements come as the philanthropic sector continues to show support for the initiative, with Helen Macpherson Smith Trust pledging an additional $500,000 to the project – bringing their donated total to $720,000. 

Council has raised more than $16.1 million for the $24.9 million project, following funding commitments from the Victorian Government and a range of leading philanthropic and corporate partners. Make Room donors were also on site last week to tour the landmark project and view progress.

The Victorian Government has also committed $4.8 million over two years for on-support and specialised tenancy management.

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Make Room is transforming a Council-owned building at 602 Little Bourke Street into 50 studio apartments. The design and service model were co-designed by people with lived experience of homelessness to support the diverse needs of its future residents.

Unison is delivering the project, with builder Harris HMC. The project and is on track to complete works by August 2024.

Cohealth has been confirmed as the on-site provider offering on-site wraparound social and health support services – including mental health, housing, and legal supports, as well as dental, women’s health, and podiatry.

"The current housing crisis demands collective action to create meaningful change. Make Room exemplifies the power of collaboration between a community housing organisation, local and state government, philanthropic organisations, and the private sector,” said Unison CEO, James King

“Our partnership with cohealth ensures that Make Room goes beyond providing shelter, guiding our city's most vulnerable toward secure long-term housing and a brighter future."

Individuals and organisations are encouraged to pledge their support for Make Room through the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.


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Learn more about Make Room here

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