DELWP, Office of the Victorian Government Architect


Future Homes




Waste Management

Future Homes

With Victoria’s population forecast to double by 2050, Future Homes provides high-quality housing stock adapted from accessible architectural designs. These pre-prepared architectural designs will streamline the planning approval process.

Future Homes

The gazettal of Planning Scheme Amendment VC224 saw the Maribyrnong Planning Scheme updated to introduce the Future Homes pilot project to accelerate the delivery of high-quality apartments, with four exemplar designs able to be selected.

What are Future Homes?

The Department of Transport and Planning (DTP), taking over management of the program from the former Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP), the Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA), CityLab and Pitcher Partners initiated the Future Homes design competition which challenged Victorian architects and designers to submit exemplar designs for a low-scale apartment building in a suburban location.

Four different designs for three-storey apartment buildings were selected from contributors Design Strategy Architecture + IncluDesign, LIAN, Spiral Architects Lab and McGregor Westlake Architecture. These winning designs underwent a period of consultation and are now available for purchase and adaptation for different resident groups and sites.

Our Work

Ratio’s waste management team advised on adaptable waste management systems that could be implemented by housing providers developing buildings with 11 metre high (three-storey) apartment blocks as stipulated by the Future Homes competition.

The systems recommended by our team considered Council policy about an updated circular economy policy ‘Recycling Victoria: A New Economy,’ and future-proofed designs by allowing for sufficient space in bin rooms/ storage areas for additional waste streams. The team also advised on best practices relating to waste collection and bin storage per the competition criteria for a winning design.

Are you Future Homes eligible? The planning details!

The Future Homes designs are purchasable by landholders, developers or social housing providers. It costs $15,000 to procure a design package and access to the streamlined planning process, with additional fees chargeable by the designer, draftsperson or architect commissioned to adapt the designs to suit the site.

Future Homes are to be located in areas close to essential services, amenities and workplaces, including:

  • Within 400 metres of an activity centre or train station.
  • On, or backing onto, a Transport Zone 2 or 3.
  • On a street nominated as a priority by the local Council because of access to open space, services or transport.

Sites need to be the consolidation of two regular suburban blocks, or approximately 1200sqm.

Clause 51.06 has been introduced to guide Future Homes projects and includes development standards which replicate some of the Clause 55 / ResCode requirements focused on internal amenity, ESD, car and bicycle parking and landscaping.  The site cannot require a permit under various overlays to qualify for the program (ESO, DDO, HO, NCO or SLO – excluding permit triggers for tree removal and construction of a fence).

Applications under the Future Homes program are to receive fast-tracked planning approvals.  While applications will be advertised, objectors will not have an opportunity to appeal matters to VCAT.

Future Homes now

Future Homes is currently undergoing a two-year pilot program in the City of Maribyrnong, with additional Council partners to be announced in 2023. The program seeks to improve the quality of developments already occurring in Melbourne while also diminishing the planning approval timeframes.

Both DTP and the OVGA remain committed to the Future Homes process to assist applicants and Councils throughout the process.