Exterior building sketch by BoardGrove Architects

Why do we need Future Homes?

Victoria’s population is set to double by 2050 and it’s important we provide high-quality, liveable and sustainable housing where people want to live.

The Future Homes project responds to Melbourne’s continuing population growth and has been created to enable gentle density increases in the suburbs through high-quality development.

The project is a joint initiative between the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), and the Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA) to deliver quality apartments that are great homes, great neighbours and great citizens - this is the standard of housing we believe Victorians deserve.

Future Homes makes it easier to build better apartments.

It provides ready-made architectural designs backed up by a purpose-built, faster streamlined planning process to get you building quicker.

There are four sets of site-less Future Homes designs for purchase, each with its unique style, design and layout. The designs (sometimes referred to as the Exemplar Designs) are for three-storey apartment buildings and can be easily adapted across various neighbourhoods and sites.

Future Homes can only be developed in areas capable of supporting gentle density increases.

Future Homes is currently in a two-year pilot program with the City of Maribyrnong; however, the project is exploring new partnerships with other councils, which will be announced in 2023.

Future Homes permit applications can be made in a General Residential Zone if the site is:

  • 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 its access to open space, services or transport.

Plans can be purchased at a cost of $15,000 (excluding GST).

The fee covers:

  • a package of developed architectural designs. View full list of inclusions.
  • access to the new streamlined planning process.

There will be costs associated with appointing a designer to adapt the selected Future Home design to your site. These fees should be discussed with your technical team.

Other fees associated with planning permit applications

Like any planning permit application, an application fee will be payable to council at the time of lodgement. Please contact the relevant council to determine the application fee.

Metropolitan Planning Levy also applies to applications for a planning permit to develop land in metropolitan Melbourne where the estimated cost of the development is more than $1 million.

There may be other planning fees associated with a development of this scale such as development contributions, private open space contributions and subdivision fees. You should discuss these fees with the relevant council and/or your technical team.

View Maribyrnong council's urban planning forms and checklists

Anyone who meets the location criteria can buy a Future Homes design for their site.

This includes landholders, builders, developers, owners’ collectives or social housing providers. Once purchased, the plan is adapted by a designer, draftsperson or architect to suit the site and surrounding conditions.

View the Future Homes designs

More information on the eligibility criteria and the adaptation process

The Future Homes project is part of Plan Melbourne’s goal of continuing to make Melbourne one of the world’s most liveable cities by:

  • creating 20-minute neighbourhoods, providing more homes close to existing services, jobs and public transport
  • ensuring Melbourne’s built environment and level of amenity in suburban areas is high quality.

Learn more about Plan Melbourne

Learn more about 20 Minute Neighbourhoods

Architects and building designers were invited to take part in a design competition in 2020. The brief challenged designers to create apartment plans which were world-leading in design, sustainability and liveability.

The four competition winners worked alongside the state delivery team – Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the Office of the Victorian Government Architect – and a full suite of technical consultants to develop their concepts into Future Homes designs.

Contact us

Contact the Future Homes sales team for enquires relating to purchasing a Future Homes design at futurehomessales@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Contact the Future Homes referral team for all enquires relating to planning and referral matters at futurehomes@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Page last updated: 28/10/22