St Kilda Community Housing currently manages 20 rooming houses in the St Kilda area
15 rooming houses are managed on behalf of the Office of Housing, Department of Human Services
2 properties are managed on behalf of St Kilda Uniting Church, and the Uniting Church has nomination rights for these properties
The remaining 3 properties are either owned outright by St Kilda Community Housing, form part of a special relationship with the Office of Housing, or are privately leased.
Avoncourt was the catalyst for the formation of the St Kilda Rooming House Issues Group when it was put up for auction in December 1982. Campaigning by a group of concerned locals to their state MPs led to the then boarding house being purchased by the Office of Housing for $380,000 in 1983. It was subsequently renovated at a further cost of $560,000. Find out more about this property »
Beach House is the only rooming house owned directly by St Kilda Community Housing. It was purchased in December 2001 using funds available through the Social Housing Innovations Project.
The property had been run as a private rooming house for many years which meant that the rooms were not up to the standard expected of public rooming houses. Following renovation of the building, its 39 rooms became 26.
In 1999, the St Kilda Rooming House Issues Group won the tender to manage the house in Blessington Street. At the time the property was being upgraded to provide 6 rooms which became available at the end of that year.
In 2010, work commenced on upgrading the property to provide 9 self-contained units.Those units were completed in July 2011.
Brighton Road was acquired by the Office of Housing in 1995. It was then renovated and became available to the St Kilda Rooming House Issues Group to manage in 1997. The house currently comprises 8 rooms, 2 bedsits and 2 one-bedroom flats.
The Carlisle Street property (including the 6 self-contained bedsits fronting on to Mitchell Street) was initially leased to the St Kilda Rooming House Issues Group in a non-upgraded state in July 1986. At that time, the accommodation was for 17 residents in 11 single rooms and 6 self-contained units. When one of the residents left the Gruop successfully applied ot the Office of Housing to have the vacant room converted into a lounge room for the residents.
The upgrading of the property was scheduled for April 1987. The front half of the property was re-opened in September 1988 with the rear bedsits at Mitchell Street re-opening only a short time later. The nomination rights for tenancies rests with Sacred Heart Mission, who provide whatever support the tenants may need.
Da Vinci Court was purchased by the Office of Housing at the same time as Wandesforde in early 1990. Following renovations, the property was handed to the St Kilda Rooming House Issues Group in July 1992. The building currently comprises 14 self-contained rooms.
The house is a beautiful example of a formerly grand Victorian terrace, including a stunning stained glass light well on the first floor as can be seen in this picture.
Elenara was the very first rooming house managed by the St Kilda Rooming House Issues Group. It was purchased by the Office of Housing in 1983 and in July of that year management was handed over to the Group. Renovations were undertaken in April 1985 and many of the residents were relocated to Avoncourt whilst these were being carried out. Following the renovations, Elenara was handed back to the Group in August 1986.
At that time the house had 37 rooms, 31 of which were for singles and six were for doubles.
Since then, first the St Kilda Rooming House Issues Group and later St Kilda Community Housing Ltd had their base on the ground floor of Elenara. SCH moved out from Elenara in June 2011. Following another upgrade of the property in 1996, the house now accommodates 35 people.
Greeves Street was one of the earliest properties managed by the St Kilda Rooming House Issues Group. In September 1984 the property was purchased by the Office of Housing and managed by the Group. Twelve months later the Group oversaw the vacating of the property by tenants and their relocation whilst the property was being redeveloped. The property was then handed back to the Group to manage in September 1986.
Following the renovations there were 8 single rooms and 1 double room providing accommodation for a total of 10 tenants.
Grey Street was purchased by the Office of Housing in September 2008 and has been managed by St Kilda Community Housing since then.
Under the Federal Government’s Nation Building and Economic Stimulus Plan the building was redevloped early in 2010 and a new addition to the rear was built. The capacity of the building was increased from 20 rooms to 34 self-contained units. Work commenced in January 2010 and the building was ready for occupation by mid-March 2011.
Below is a picture of the development.
One of the new rooms at Grey Street
Havana was purchased by the Office of Housing in 1992. Unlike the other rooming houses managed by St Kilda Community Housing, Havana was expressly purchased to provide supported accommodation to people living with a serious mental illness who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The model was that the St Kilda Rooming House Issues Group would manage the property whilst the Inner South Community Health Services would provide the support for the tenants. These arrangements continue to this day.
The Jackson Street property was originally handed over to the St Kilda Rooming House Issues Group to manage in February 1988. At the time it was purchased the property was fairly run-down and contained 19 rooms. The property was then upgraded by the Office of Housing during 1989 and handed back to the Group in July 1990.
The original plan was to convert the 19 rooms into 19 bedsits but this was changed to 17 bedsits and a 1 bedroom flat.
The Jackson Street development was one of the first undertaken by the Office of Housing to offer bedsit accommodation under the Rooming House Program.
In 2010 the property will undergo some internal refurbishment.
In October 2012 Koombahla was formally opened by the Minister for Housing, Wendy Lovell. Koombahla is a joint venture between the Director of Housing, DHS, and St Kilda Community Community. SCH has paid for the upgrade of the building, which had been lying empty for a number of years. As a result, 19 self-contained units have been created.
The Mitchell Street property is at the rear of the rooming house in Carlisle Street. It contains 6 self-contained bedsits and was first leased to the Group in 1986. Following renovations, the bedsits were re-opened in late 1988. The nomination rights for the tenancies lie with Sacred Heart Mission, who provide support on an as-needed basis for the tenants.
The Octavia property was allocated to the St Kilda Rooming House Issues Group by the Office of Housing in December 1987. The property consists of three Victorian terrace houses which had been joined together and contains 9 rooms. This property is reserved for women only. Following redevelopment, the property now contains 7 bedsits.
Princes Street was constructed by the Uniting Church during 1995-96. The first tenancies were established in 1997 and the St Kilda Rooming House Issues Group was appointed as the tenancy manager.
The building has 8 one-bedroom flats with the Uniting Church maintaining nomination rights to two of the flats through the St Kilda Drop-In Centre and the Inner South Community Health Service has nomination rights over the remainder of the flats.
Seaside in the early days
Seaside Lodge currently has 58 rooms. It is a large Edwardian building with a modern addition to the rear. In 1985 the back building was gutted by fire and the front building suffered some damage. The building was then purchased and redeveloped by the Office of Housing to its current state.
The building has recently undergone a new redevelopment as part of the Federal Government’s Nation Building and Economic Stimulus Plan, administered through the State Government. Tenants moved back in in April 2012 and the property was formally opened by the State Minister for Housing, Wendy Lovell.
Housing Minister Wendy Lovell with Paul Madden (SCH Chair) and Paul Dynon
The newly developed Seaside
The Manse was originally managed by Hanover for the Uniting Church until February 1988 when the St Kilda Rooming Issues Group took over .
At the time the Group took over management, the Manse had 13 rooms but, after renovations in 1994, the rooms were made larger to bring them up to acceptable standards. There are now 10 rooms in the house.
Tooth House was named after the first President of the St Kilda Rooming House Issues Group, Walter Tooth. It was formally opened by the Acting Premier of Victoria John Thwaites in September 2005. Tooth House originally had 15 rooms but it has recently been upgraded under the Federal Government’s Nation Building and Economic Stimulus Plan. Works were completed in July 2011 resulting in 14 bedsitters.
Wandesforde was first purchased by the Office of Housing in 1990 and the St Kilda Rooming House Issues Group was given management of the property pending renovations to turn the property in 9 self-contained units. The property became vacant in July 1991 whilst the renovations were undertaken and then was re-tenanted in January 1992.
The house underwent a re-development in the first half of 2010 under the Federal Government’s Nation Building and Economic Stimulus Plan and there are now 8 new bedsits to the rear of the property.
The new development at the rear of Wandesforde
The Wellington Street property was built specifically by the Office of Housing for the St Kilda Rooming House Issues Group to manage in 1989. It has 12 rooms. Because this was a purpose-built facility the rooms were – and are – considered a good size. Each room was also designed with its own wash basin.