Affordable housing to be pursued as part of A’Beckett St sale
The City of Melbourne says it wants to “incorporate into the potential sales terms” an incentive for a future developer to provide affordable housing at an A’Beckett St property which it is putting on the open market.
In June this year, the council listed four of its properties for proposed divestment, after deeming them as unsuitable for any of its current or future “community, social or recreational infrastructure services”.
A property at 100-104 A’Beckett St, most recently used as a staging post for the council’s cleaning program during COVID-19, was among the four properties proposed for sale, along with 47-49 Canning St, Carlton, 505-513 Abbotsford St, North Melbourne and 30-38 Gatehouse Drive, Kensington.
The A’Beckett St property, which has a heritage overlay, had been home to a council-operated childcare centre prior to the pandemic but has now deemed surplus to requirement after not being used for any council services since 2021.
A community engagement report into the proposal, which was considered by councillors at its November 22 Future Melbourne Committee (FMC) meeting, found that among the 250 respondents to the mooted sale of 100-104 A’Beckett St, 81 per cent supported its retention.
Many of the respondents in favour of retaining the building said they supported its use for affordable housing or other community services such as childcare or “other community use”, while many wanted to preserve its heritage.
But while the council was expected to move ahead with selling the property, the report tabled at the November 22 FMC meeting said there was potential for the sale of A’Beckett St to “deliver on City of Melbourne’s Affordable Housing Strategy 2020-2030”.
The report said the council would seek to do this by “providing purchasers an incentive to undertake the development of social/affordable housing on the site”.
Councillors were expected to support the recommendation after the December/January edition of CBD News went to press. •