When Council proposed to develop affordable housing and a community park, Capire conducted community engagement to raise awareness about the design, draft guidelines and benefits.


Epsom Street Affordable Housing


In response to a housing crisis in Victoria, Hobson’s Bay City Council (Council) has purchased the site of the former Laverton Primary School to create affordable housing and a community park. Council’s aim is to increase housing stock and retain the value of the land by developing up to 80 dwellings. These dwellings would benefit very low to moderate-income earning households and reduce displacement due to rising housing costs.

Capire’s role was to conduct a community engagement process to raise awareness about the design, draft guidelines, and benefits of affordable housing, as well as gather community feedback. Community members were invited to complete an online survey, drop by at one of three pop-up events, attend a two-hour community focus group, email their views, or take part in a one-on-one phone discussion.


The major challenge for this project was perception. Council has a strong commitment to delivering social and affordable housing for the community but faced some resistance from residents.

Capire provided a strategic review of project collateral and the proposed urban design guidelines. We also designed a series of pop-up sessions which were instrumental in promoting the project benefits and demystifying project information. Capire then facilitated a community workshop which provided a platform for residents to unpack their concerns and share their views, as well as hear from people who had benefited from social housing.


Over 110 people provided feedback on the draft guidelines.  The general sentiment towards the project varied across engagement activities. However, the broader Hobsons Bay community was supportive of the project.

The engagement activities were successful in helping Council change the public perception of social and affordable housing. Having people who lived in social and affordable housing at engagement events was helpful to dispel negative stereotypes.

  • Client
    Hobsons Bay City Council
  • Year Completed
  • Location
    Laverton, Victoria