Preston carpark could become social housing site under new proposal

A CARPARK behind Preston police station could become the latest site for affordable housing under a Darebin Council proposal.

Councillors voted to begin a consultation process with the community over whether the site should be leased to a housing organisation and turned into low-cost residences.

The site, at 52-60 Townhall Ave, Preston, would be given to the tenant with restrictions on the use of the land, such as retaining the public carpark.

The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation will work with the council on the project and potentially contribute advisers, a $1 million grant and a $2 million loan.

Darebin Mayor Kim Le Cerf said the exploration was a sign of how committed the council was to increasing the availability of affordable housing in the municipality.

“This is an exciting opportunity to explore a new approach to affordable housing and work with the philanthropic sector,” Cr Le Cerf said.

The site is approximately 1,140 square metres and valued at $3.6 million, but would be leased to a provider for a nominal amount.

Haven Home Safe operations executive director Trudi Ray said the organisation had seen a significant increase in people in Darebin accessing crisis and long-term accommodation.

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Source: Herald Sun