Another donation for council housing project

Kaylah Joelle Baker

The Gandel Foundation is the latest organisation to get behind the City of Melbourne’s Make Room project after contributing a $1 million philanthropic grant towards the $20 million affordable housing initiative.

The latest funding from the foundation brings the secured amount up to $12.75 million, following additional funding from the Victorian Government, The Ian Potter Foundation and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

The Gandel Foundation is one of Australia’s leading private family foundations. Its CEO Vedran Drakulic said the organisation was committed to projects focused on empowering the most vulnerable people in the community.

“The Gandel family is proud to support the City of Melbourne’s Make Room project and Unison Housing, and we are confident that this initiative will create a positive and lasting difference in the lives of so many Melburnians struggling with homelessness,” he said.

The council-owned building at 602 Little Bourke St is being refurbished by Unison, which will construct 50 studio apartments for the city’s rough sleepers. The priority for housing and call outs for funding from philanthropic and corporate sectors comes after recent figures revealed there were between 60 and 90 people sleeping on the streets on any given night.

The council’s health, wellbeing and belonging portfolio lead Cr Dr Olivia Ball said the city was facing a significant problem due to a lack of public, social and affordable housing.

In addition to the City of Melbourne donating the $12 million building, $365,000 has also been included to start the refit.

Set to open in late 2023, the Make Room project will not only contain accommodation and communal living areas, but also housing and homelessness services to support the residents •

While the funding amount needed for the Make Room project has not yet been reached, she said positive steps were being made.

“We’re grateful for the backing of our generous partners, as we forge ahead with this important project to provide much-needed emergency accommodation for people as they look to secure a stable, long-term place to live,” Cr Dr Ball said.

In addition to the City of Melbourne donating the $12 million building, $365,000 has also been included to start the refit.

Set to open in late 2023, the Make Room project will not only contain accommodation and communal living areas, but also housing and homelessness services to support the residents.

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