Ensuring a sustainable housing future for Australians

Overhead shot of a suburb

Quality housing is an essential component of household wellbeing, yet large numbers of Australians live in insecure housing and/or struggle to meet their housing costs while others are unable to secure adequate housing to meet their needs and aspirations. Our research explores how the housing industry and government policy makers can deliver a sustainable housing future where all Australians are appropriately housed. We produce research designed to improve housing outcomes such as delivering a greater supply of affordable housing for those on low incomes, increasing housing diversity by providing housing options for young and old alike and reforming the private rental market to provide more long term, secure housing.

Funded through organisations such as the Australian Research Council, the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) and industry, for example the Department of Communities, our research aims to make a difference by developing innovative solutions to what are complex economic and social problems. With expertise in economics, finance, housing market analysis, residential property development, investment and valuation, our researchers are well equipped to tackle a range of problems, proposing solutions to deliver a more effective housing system for future generations.

Key projects

Government led innovations in affordable housing delivery Researchers: Prof. Steven Rowley, Dr Amity James

This project examined state-government-led innovations in affordable housing and shows effective strategies and programs rely on strong political leadership; adopt a whole-of-housing industry approach to consultation and implementation; communicate objectives effectively to all stakeholders; are resilient to changes of government; and are best run from a central agency with a flexible organisational structure that can respond quickly to opportunities. Our research has helped inform the development of affordable housing strategies across the country.

Older Australians and the housing aspirations gap Researchers: Dr Amity James, Prof. Steven Rowley

This study examined the housing aspirations of older Australians (i.e. aged 55 years and over), including homeowners and renters in the private market and in social housing, to provide the evidence-base for policies needed to deliver their required housing and housing assistance. Housing aspirations are driven by a desire for long-term, stable housing. The housing industry needs to deliver more housing choice to meet the housing needs of older Australians, including a supply of subsidised rental housing and a more secure private rental sector.

Mortgage stress and precarious home ownership: implications for older Australians Researcher: Prof. Rachel Ong

This research investigated the growing numbers of middle aged and older Australians who are carrying mortgage debt into retirement and paying off higher levels of debt relative to house values and income. Between 1987 and 2015, mortgage debt among older mortgagors increased by 600 per cent. These trends have significant consequences for older Australians’ wellbeing and government incomes policy and housing assistance programs. We highlight how government needs to address the issue of mortgage debt in later years and consider various wealth management strategies necessary to ensure security into retirement.