Agency VA 2907
Ministry of Housing and Construction
About this Agency Records Related Functions Related Agencies
Date Range: 1987 - 1991
 
Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency
The Ministry of Housing and Construction was established on 14 December 1987 to more efficiently manage the activities of the former Ministry of Housing (VA 609) and Public Works Department (VA 669). The new Ministry assumed all the functions of both these agencies.

In August 1988 responsibility for supply of furniture, stores and equipment and outfitting of government buildings was transferred to the Department of Property and Services (VA 430).

In January 1991 the public housing and public building functions were transferred to the newly created Department of Planning and Housing (VA 3013).

After January 1991 the Ministry of Housing and Construction was made an associated administrative unit of the Department (from January 1991 known as Office of Housing, in March 1991 this was changed to Housing and Construction, Victoria). However in May 1992 Housing and Construction, Victoria was removed as an administrative unit of the Department and an administrative arrangements order formally transferred legislative responsibility to the Department of Planning and Housing. The end date of the agency has been identified from 1991 when it ceased to exist as a department of state.

The Ministry of Housing and Construction was responsible for:

Public Housing

Over time this function has encompassed:

from 1937 clearance of slum areas, improving existing housing, establishing minimum housing standards, providing public housing for persons with limited means and zoning areas for residential or other use.

from 1945 administration of funding allocated to public housing under the terms of a Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement Act (No.5114) including the construction and management of large public housing estates.

from the 1970s providing financial assistance and information to home buyers and renovators; managing housing assistance programmes including providing rental accommodation through the Government's rental housing programme, community-managed housing and rental.

Background

A Slum Reclamation Abolition Board was appointed by Cabinet on 19 July 1936 to investigate housing in Victoria after concerns were expressed about the ability of many local municipalities to cope with increasing demands for housing associated with the establishment of large manufacturing industry. Subsequently the Housing Commission of Victoria was established by the Housing Act 1937. Following an initial investigation of housing conditions a further Act was passed in 1938, the Slum Reclamation and Housing Act. The two Acts defined the following main principles governing the operations of the Commission:

improvement of existing housing conditions
determination of minimum standards with which new houses must comply
reclamation of insanitary areas
provision of houses for persons of limited means
zoning, i.e. the division of municipal districts into residential and other areas.

From this early period until the 1970s emphasis was placed on clearing slum areas and re-housing people of limited means at the cheapest cost. From 1945 funding was provided for public housing under the Commonwealth State Housing Agreements and the Commission built large estates of public housing (houses, units and multi-storey flats) in cleared areas in the inner urban region and in undeveloped areas on the outskirts of Melbourne. A Concrete House Factory, known as the Holmesglen Concrete House Project, was established to facilitate the cheap mass production of prefabricated houses.

The first significant change in the Commission's functions resulted from the Housing Act 1943. This Act enabled the Commission to let or lease houses to persons of limited means who wished to purchase a home. The Housing Act 1953 widened the objectives and powers of the Commission to enable it to cope with the planning requirements of large estates.

In 1972 the Ministry of Housing was established and took over prime responsibility for the housing function which included:
improving housing conditions
providing adequate and suitable houses for letting or purchase to persons of limited means or living under unsatisfactory housing conditions
co-ordinating the supply and renewal of public housing
assisting in the provision of finance for persons building, purchasing or renovating houses.

The Housing Commission continued to be responsible for the following aspects of the housing function until it was abolished in 1983 :

the Ministry's purchase and construction program,
the allocation of housing funds,
general tenancy arrangements
house sales.

Design and Construction of Government Buildings

This function encompasses the programming, planning, and design and construction of works and buildings for state government departments, ministries and agencies.

Supply of Furniture, Stores and Equipment

This function encompasses the supply of furniture, stores and equipment to government buildings.

Outfitting of Government Buildings

This function encompasses the fitting out of government accommodation, maintenance of air-conditioning, and related survey and drafting functions for government constructions.

Location of Records

For records of this agency see list of series below.

 
More Research resourcesMore Research resources
Record series created by this AgencyRecord series created by this Agency
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Date Range Series Title Series Number Series Location Public Access
? 1960 - 1999 Card Index to Building Plans VPRS 11926 North Melbourne Closed
1962 - 1994 Survey Plans VPRS 11519 North Melbourne Open
1970 - 1992 General Circulars VPRS 11264 North Melbourne Open
1972 - 1994 Special Circulars VPRS 11265 North Melbourne Open
1973 - cont Metric Building Plans VPRS 3821 North Melbourne Open
1981 - cont Metric Building Plans - Aperture Cards VPRS 3822 North Melbourne Closed
Circa 1940 - cont Contract Documents, Architectural and Engineering VPRS 3157 North Melbourne Part Open
Functions for which this Agency has or has had primary responsibilityFunctions for which this Agency has or has had primary responsibility
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Date of Responsibility Function Title Function Number
1987 - 1988 Buildings, government (outfitting) VF 218
1987 - 1988 Supply of furniture, stores and equipment VF 219
1987 - 1991 Housing, public VF 174
1987 - 1991 Buildings, government (design and construction) VF 14
Functions for which this Agency has or has had secondary responsibilityFunctions for which this Agency has or has had secondary responsibility
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Date of Responsibility Function Title Function Number
Superior AgenciesSuperior Agencies
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Date of Relationship Agency Title Agency Number
Subordinate AgenciesSubordinate Agencies
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Date of Relationship Agency Title Agency Number
1987 - 1991 Urban Land Corporation (formerly known as the Urban Land Authority) VA 1358
Related AgenciesRelated Agencies
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Groups containing this AgencyGroups containing this Agency
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Date of Relationship Group Title Group Number
1987 - 1991 Housing and Construction VRG 88