DEVELOPERS of Centacare’s $1.15 million Mitchell Park motel redevelopment have again stepped in to reassure the community the apartment complex will not house undesirable residents.
Centacare’s renovation of the former Sovereign City Motor Inn is almost half complete, just five weeks since works first began at the site.
Residents in the area had earlier this year expressed their anger that the 29 apartments would supposedly be designed as cheap housing, specifically for parolees.
However project manager Geoff Wallace said the quality of the redevelopment, as well as the guidelines that made people eligible to rent the units, showed it was far from any sort of halfway house for ex-criminals or strictly disadvantaged people.
Mr Wallace said although a portion of the units would be rented to Centacare clients, they would be in the minority.
There will be some restrictions placed on who is eligible to rent the Learmonth Road units, with only those who are considered low income earners able to rent the units.
Individuals living alone cannot earn more than $47,000 to be eligible, while a dual-income family with five children is able to earn up to $106,000.
“These are quality units, everything is brand new in them,” Mr Wallace said.
“It’s probably 40 per cent done at the moment and we hope to be finished by Christmas. The first tenants could be moving in as early as January.”
The complex boasts 17 “studio” apartments that have hideaway beds, four one-bedroom apartments, seven two-bedroom apartments and one three-bedroom apartment.
Up to 35 tradesmen have been working at the site at one time to fast track the development, which Mr Wallace said would ease the housing stress in Ballarat, the main reason for the redevelopment.
Centacare chief executive officer David Beaver estimated there would be between 50 and 60 people living in the complex once complete.
“It will be a true cross-section of the Ballarat community,” he said.
“It will be normal, every day people living in what will be high quality apartments.”