Elsie Schwencke and David George are among residents who have made a last-ditch appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to stay in their VicRoads-owned homes.

VicRoads also owns vacant land adjoining the homes in Kororoit Creek Road, between Swanston Street and the roundabout at Champion Road.

VicRoads has declined to comment on its plans for the homes and adjoining land.

Spokesman Cameron Tait said: “As there’s a case currently before VCAT, it would not be appropriate for VicRoads to comment at this stage.”

Ms Schwencke, 84, moved into her home in 1979.

“VicRoads told me at the time not to get comfortable as they were going to widen the road,” she said.

“But they didn’t widen the road. They told me recently they were coming out to inspect the place but instead they said, ‘We’ve got bad news. We’re pulling them down’.”

Ms Schwencke said she did not know where she would live.

“I’ve applied to [real estate] agents but the [only properties they have] have showers over the baths and too many steps,” she said.

Mr George, who has lived next door for 22 years, said he was gutted.

“I’m gonna be homeless,” he said. “I’m in a horrible amount of pain  90 per cent of the time. I’m on a disability pension myself. We’re all stuffed. I help Elsie out as much as I can, being a neighbour, taking her to events and stuff and hospital and that. If we’re separated that won’t happen any more.

“We’ve got a little community here which helps out each other a lot. All that’s changed.”

Nearby resident Cliff Elliott said he was concerned about access if the land was developed into units.

“If they build flats here, the flats wouldn’t be able to access the road. They wouldn’t be allowed to drive out here,” he said. “They’d have to have a back access. The land should be kept until the railway crossing’s been completed and they widen the road like they were going to do in the first place.”

Labor has promised to remove the level crossing at Williamstown North railway station.

Hobsons Bay deputy mayor Paul Morgan said it would be good to see something built on the vacant land.

“I don’t know what will be there and it’s a difficult spot because of the access and how busy the road is,” he said.

“It’s a good site for something to go there, but I’m not sure what.

“I think that [vacant] block’s about 3000 square metres. If they could add another 3000 square metres to it, all of a sudden that’s 6000 square metres of prime real estate in Williamstown.

“It could become a row of shops, it could become apartments, it could be anything, really.”