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Victoria’s largest social housing project begins

Victoria’s largest social housing project begins

Corrs Chambers Westgarth is advising the Port Phillip Housing Association (PPHA) on the largest ever development by Victoria's not-for-profit sector.The development, known as the Ashwood…

Corrs Chambers Westgarth is advising the Port Phillip Housing Association (PPHA) on the largest ever development by Victoria's not-for-profit sector.

The development, known as the Ashwood Chadstone Gateway Project, will include around 207 social housing units and 75 private housing units.

Under arrangements with the Department of Human Services, PPHA will also provide 261 social housing units outside the development.

Corrs provided advice on numerous aspects, including the funding and development agreement, contracts for sale of land with the Department of Human Services, private landowners and prospective purchasers of private housing units. It also provided counsel on debt funding, planning matters and the National Rent Affordability Scheme.

Partner Nathaniel Popelianski said of the deal: "The unique feature of housing development in the not-for-profit sector is that a not-for-profit does not distribute profits to shareholders - it reinvests profits into more social housing development.

"This means that an allocation of Government funding for social housing projects results in the delivery of a larger number of social housing units than might otherwise be the case in the private sector."

According to Popelianski, these developments help increase the amount of affordable housing because housing associations are at the coal face of social housing issues.

"They acutely understand the need for greater investment in the sector and are fast developing expertise in the development and delivery of social housing projects," he said.

"The Ashwood Chadstone Gateway Project is a prime example of the ... sector applying hard-edge business principles to deliver a major real estate development."

Construction has already begun on a number of sites, with the Victorian Government and PPHA each contributing approximately $70 million to the project.

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