Affordable housing in Melbourne given a boost by HESTA and SVA venture

Market Insights
4 years ago
2 minutes

With an increase in demand for affordable housing, a residential apartment project based in Melbourne may be the template for the future.

Featuring a collection of six neighbouring buildings, each designed by a different award-winning architect, the Nightingale Village project targets first home buyers, affordable housing clients, and those working in key community occupations, while using the social, environmental and financial sustainability principles of the Nightingale model. 


The development is a partnership between HESTA, the industry super fund for the health and community services sector, and housing organisations Nightingale Housing and Social Ventures Australia (SVA), a not-for-profit organisation that works with partners to help the disadvantaged.

“Having a home is a fundamental element of financial security and societal connection and the lack of affordable homes close to major infrastructure is a huge issue for the community and our members,” HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said.

“We want to prove that you can invest to achieve returns for members and help address big social challenges like housing affordability. This investment provides a possible blueprint to help grow the supply of more affordable housing that could attract other large investors.”

Nightingale Parklife — Austin Maynard Architects

The carbon-neutral residential project in Brunswick, which has a $20 million investment from HESTA, will consist of 185 apartments across six architecturally-designed buildings on former warehouse sites. 

While 20 per cent of the apartments has been allocated to Key Contribution Workers such as nurses, aged care professionals, and those working in the not-for-profit sector, another 20 per cent were pre-sold to Community Housing Providers, to be rented out to eligible clients at reduced rates. The remainder was sold to the general public, many of whom are first home buyers.

Nightingale Skye House — Breathe Architecture

Nightingale Village is the fourth of its kind by Nightingale Housing. They have been incredibly successful in achieving greater affordability by selling more expensive, larger apartments to help cross-subsidise the cost of smaller and less expensive apartments for first home buyers and Key Community Contributors.

Due to this success, all Nightingale Housing projects have strong demand and a long list of buyers, eliminating the need to engage marketing consultants and real estate agents or invest in promotions, resulting in savings being passed on to the buyers. The design of the development is also environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient, passing yet more savings onto the residents. 

Nightingale Kennedy Nolan — Kennedy Nolan

“We started with the idea that the answer to housing in our country was in design, in architecture, and what I discovered was that the answer was in an entirely new system,” says Nightingale Housing managing director Jeremy McLeod. 

“Nightingale Housing exists to revolutionise the way we live together. Nightingale is a triple bottom line housing model – it's designed to deliver housing at a cost that is affordable, sustainable and delivers a sense of community.”

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All images credit: Nightingale