Gandel Foundation provides a funding boost for project to support rough sleepers

The City of Melbourne’s Make Room project is progressing well towards its funding target thanks to a recent $1 million philanthropic grant from Gandel Foundation.

This project will make a difference for those who need it most and create a pathway for Melburnians to access social and affordable housing.

Council has now secured more than $12.75 million for the $20 million project, following funding commitments from the Victorian Government, The Ian Potter Foundation, Gandel Foundation and Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

The Make Room project will see a Council-owned building at 602 Little Bourke Street converted into safe and supported accommodation for those experiencing homelessness and sleeping rough on the city streets.

Unison Housing will refurbish and manage the property, which will feature up to 50 studio apartments, communal living areas, housing and homelessness services and other support for residents.

Council has donated the building worth $12 million and allocated $365,000 to begin the refit in its 2021-22 Budget.

Site preparation works are well underway, ahead of the start of construction in October this year. Accommodation and services are scheduled to open in late 2023.

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp

“Every Melburnian deserves a safe place to live, and we’re doing everything we can to help those in need as they transition to permanent housing – but we can’t do it alone.

“We’re calling on the philanthropic and corporate sectors to stand with us as we deliver this important project.

“The Gandel Foundation is a strong supporter of initiatives to tackle homelessness, and we’re incredibly grateful for their significant contribution to our Make Room project.”

Quotes attributable to Health, Wellbeing and Belonging portfolio lead Councillor Dr Olivia Ball

“Housing is a human right, but we know there isn’t enough public, social and affordable housing in Melbourne. On any given night in our CBD, between 60 and 90 people are sleeping rough.

“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.”

Quotes attributable to Gandel Foundation CEO Vedran Drakulic OAM

“The Gandel Foundation is one of Australia’s leading private family foundations, and is committed to projects that build strong, inclusive communities and empower our most vulnerable people to improve their wellbeing.

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