Planning the future of social and affordable housing at Virginia Hill

We’re planning for the future needs of social and affordable housing in Bendigo.

As a part of our $5.3 billion Big Housing Build, we’re fast tracking the delivery of this draft masterplan to build more homes for more Victorians. This investment into housing in Eaglehawk will boost housing supply and tackle the growing problem of housing availability in regional Victoria.

We know that Bendigo needs more high quality social and affordable housing. To help address this need, we’re planning to transform Virginia Hill into a vibrant, family-friendly and well-connected neighbourhood.

We have prepared a draft masterplan that outlines the vision, directions and proposed key changes for Virginia Hill based on what we heard.

This masterplan will:

  • deliver about 120 new homes at Virginia Hill
  • include a mix of 1, 2 and 3-bedroom homes
  • deliver energy efficient and environmentally sustainable new homes
  • create the opportunity to better connect the area with new roads and pedestrian connections supported by better public spaces

Engagement so far

Community feedback has guided the draft masterplan. In late 2019 and early 2020, we asked residents and community members for input and feedback.

Participants agreed that:

  • Virginia Hill is well located
  • the road network and public spaces need to be improved
  • the neighbourhood feels unsafe
  • the terrain is hard to walk across

All of the residents who participated agreed their existing homes could better meet their needs.

Here’s what else we heard.

  • In 2020 engagement, 67% of participants agreed with diversification of housing tenure
  • 69% agreed new housing should add variety
  • Existing homes are not well designed, have small rooms, steep staircases and don’t meet user needs
  • The buildings are too close to each other, creating privacy issues
  • Public open spaces are not well used or maintained
  • Over 80% of participants agreed public open spaces are hidden, unsafe and uninviting
  • The playground and bench seating are in poor condition, outdated and not used
  • 66% of the participants agreed the site layout needed to change
  • The road network is too narrow
  • The design of driveways and roads makes it hard to park cars, collect rubbish or for emergency services to gain access
  • The road network doesn’t allow for visitor car parking
  • Most of the footpaths in the neighbourhood don’t link up, cut out, and are uneven and steep in parts
  • Most participants agreed it is difficult to walk through the area and doesn’t feel safe on the roads or footpaths
  • An existing on-site community room is small and only used briefly once a week for a resident drop-in service
Download the full phase 1 engagement report.
Phase 1 engagement report
PDF (616.12 KB)

How to get involved

We recently asked people in the Eaglehawk community for their feedback to help us plan for the future of social and affordable housing.

We asked them their thoughts about proposed improvements to the neighbourhood including housing, connections and public spaces, and how best to keep them informed.

Our online survey was open from 30 August until 11.59pm on 19 September 2021. During this period we also held 2 online community sessions.

You can still explore our draft masterplan to see what’s proposed.

Next steps

We’ll consider your feedback as we finalise the masterplan in late 2021. We’ll let you know how your feedback has influenced the plan in our engagement report.

With this overarching masterplan, the team will then work through detailed design, planning application, and construction is planned from 2022.

Communication with the community will continue at each step of the project.