News & Events

Housing wins for older Victorians in need

December 10, 2016

Plans for a $11.4 million development at the heritage-listed Rushall Park village have been given the green light at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

The news follows on from the decision by Banyule City Council in October to extend Leith Park, our village in St Helena. The $14.9 million investment will see an additional 46 state of the art independent living units built, bringing the total number of units on the site to 140.

Work will now begin on detailed design work for 35 new units for older Victorians in need at the historic Rushall Park village.

The plans, which have support from the City of Yarra and Heritage Victoria, were delayed because of a small number of concerns. These have now been addressed.

The new development has been designed by award-winning MGS architects, which are well known for their experience and expertise in designing social housing, ageing in place housing and sustainable architecture.

It will include 35 single and double units within a three storey development. Car parking and landscaping is also included.

“Our mission is to provide affordable accommodation and support to older Victorians in need. Our architects have designed high quality, contemporary homes which take into account the needs of elderly people, and the existing architectural and urban qualities of the village,” Mr Wohlers said.

“The three-storey design is no higher than the typical Victorian houses which are common in the surrounding streets,” he added.

The architecture for the new build reflects contemporary style, and fit in with OCAV founding member George Seth Coppin who, almost 150 years ago, said the need for future housing should reflect the housing style of the times.

“We have drawn up plans with Coppin’s viewpoint in mind, as well as the very real need for us to fulfill our mission to advocate and provide affordable, safe and dignified independent homes for older Victorians in need within a village environment.

Currently Rushall Park’s wait list is at 583 people, the equivalent of six years, and this development will make significant inroads to the waiting times. OCAV has an overall wait list of 900 older Victorians, and is currently investigating options for expansion beyond its current sites.

Affordable social housing is scarce in Victoria, as is noted in the recent Infrastructure Victoria’s draft 30-year strategy. The state’s social housing stock is amongst the lowest in Australia with 32,000 Victorians currently waiting for public housing.


Dorothy Clayton has felt very much ‘at home’ since she moved into Braeside Park nine years ago. Now, Dorothy, the village’s volunteer pastoral care worker, tries to ensure that others also feel a sense of belonging in the Berwick village.

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