15 October 2014
Jewish Care Victoria is pleased to announce the submission of an application for a town planning permit to the City of Port Philip, for the development of a major community housing project in East St Kilda.
“We are extremely excited to embark on our journey of renewal and growth. Together with the current construction of our Disability Respite Centre and our future Senior Living and Community Precinct on St Kilda Rd, this new community housing development is an important component of our 10-year capital investment program,” said CEO Bill Appleby.
Staying true to Jewish Care’s mission:‘To support and enhance the wellbeing of the Jewish community of Victoria,’ the newly proposed community housing development of 33 units, at 15-25 Fulton Street, East St Kilda, will increase the organisation’s ability to support individuals and families who are at risk of homelessness and provide them with much needed social and affordable accommodation.
The development is budgeted to cost $12.5 million, of which, $6 million is already secured with an additional $6.5 million to be raised from community funding before the project can commence.
Subject to town planning permits, architectural designs being approved and securing the necessary capital funds, it is hoped that works can commence by mid-2015 and it is expected that the works will take 12 months to complete.
“Located in the heart of the Jewish community, the Jewish Care Community Housing units will offer affordable one to three-bedroom units close to synagogues, Jewish day schools, kosher food retail stores and more importantly, family, friends and other community support networks,” said Appleby . “It is all about being able to improve the quality of life for so many people in our community.”
There will be two stages to the project:
Stage 1: The current six properties owned by Jewish Care at 15-25 Fulton Street will be redeveloped into 33 new units that are modern, comfortable and accessible for all abilities and religious observance requirements.
Stage 2: At the completion of the first stage, the 62 existing units located between Fulton Street and Alma Road will be extensively refurbished with upgrades to bathrooms, kitchens, heating systems, flooring and improved accessibility through new lifts and access points. In addition, new communal areas will be constructed which include BBQ facilities, community hub and succah.
The need for social and affordable housing in the Jewish Community continues to increase each year and Jewish Care often cannot meet the demand with its current number of properties. In a recent review of “hotspots” the Department of Human Services identified Caulfield and its surrounds as an emerging area of financial stress. With financial stress comes the inability to pay rents and manage mortgages.
The 2012 Gen08 Survey ‘Poverty & Emergency Relief’ identified that geographic proximity to synagogues, kosher food outlets, Jewish community groups and schools is a critical element of observing day to day Jewish life. However, the increasing costs of rents in suburbs such as St Kilda, Elsternwick and Caulfield make it difficult for people to live in these suburbs. As a result, people are often forced to move to suburbs that are out of reach from Jewish community and related services and amenities.
Marilyn Kraner, Acting General Manager Community Services said,
“Many Jewish people wish to remain in the Caulfield /East St Kilda area close to family and community. Rental increases, alongside increases to the cost of properties, makes this near impossible for many. Jewish Care believes it has a pivotal role in caring for the vulnerable and for those in financial hardship, as well as providing real options that allow community connectedness.”