Tests delay $6m project


hastings housing3THE $6 million “affordable” homes project in Marine Pde, Hastings, will not be finished until next year.

A halt was called on work to complete the 20 homes earlier this year when builders unearthed a disused fuel tank.

Since then the land has been extensively tested to gauge the extent of contamination from the tank left over from a former service station.

“It’s really sad this has happened,” state manager for Community Housing Ltd Brett Wake said on Monday.

“We’re very confident we’ll be able to finish the project, but it won’t be until the next calendar year.”

Mr Wake said Community Housing had put off seeking tenants for the homes.

Seven people with disabilities had been lined up by the Department of Human Services, but he did not believe anyone had been left with “accommodation stress”.

“We were about 16 weeks off completion when the tank was found and it won’t take much to finish the project.

“It seems a complex situation, but I believe we will get to the end of it.”

The process involves Community Housing hiring consultants to carry out soil testing under the direction of the Environment Protection Authority.

“There is another round of testing to be done and we will need remediation, certainly at the front facing Marine Pde,” Mr Wake said.

“There are also pipes under the road and that’s where the problem seems to be.”

Mr Wake said in the meantime an option was to finish and use homes built at the corner of King and Victoria streets.

“It will be two months before we know when we’ll be able to finish.”

Remediation yet to be confirmed by the EPA will include removing and replacing soil on the site and then capping it with concrete.

The unfinished homes in Victoria St are next to a $1.5 million group house for six people with severe disabilities supported by a live-in carer.

When completed, the “affordable” homes will offer secure, long-term rental accommodation to senior citizens, families on low incomes, and people with intellectual and physical disabilities who can live independently with support.

Dubbed the “Hastings model” the project is being built with money from state and federal governments as well as Frankston Peninsula Carers.

The 20 homes were originally slated for completion in March.


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