Research Agenda 2020 announced

Priority housing, urban and cities issues to be investigated by the AHURI network

13 May 2019

AHURI has released the research topics for the 2020 National Housing Research Program (NHRP) agenda which will contribute to the growing evidence-base in the housing, homelessness, cities, urban policy fields. Each year the research agenda is developed through consultation with partners from the Australian Government and each state and territory government along with other key stakeholders.

The 2020 Research Agenda reflects a number of important priority policy issues to have emerged in recent years including population and Australian cities; housing an ageing population; developing a build to rent sector in Australia; the planning system and urban growth, and housing for sustainable remote communities.

AHURI’s national network of eight universities will undertake the research, which will be underpinned by two new flagship AHURI Inquiries.

The topics for the 2020 Research Agenda are:

AHURI Inquiries

  • Inquiry into population settlement

Decentralising population growth has been identified as a key strategy to maximise economic benefits and improve housing affordability and liveability in Australia’s cities. What are the current patterns of settlement for international and internal migration in Australia, and how might the development of Australia’s smaller cities work to mitigate the challenges of managing population growth?

  • Inquiry into housing older Australians

Older Australians without the security of home ownership face precarious housing as they age. What protections are needed for those living in forms of alternative housing tenures and what innovative housing models could revitalise the sector for future generations?

Other research topics

  • Build to rent in Australia – How can a build to rent model become an effective and appropriate model to expand supply of affordable housing in Australia?
  • An integrated housing assistance system – How can the housing assistance system be reconfigured for efficient and effective outcomes tenants and the housing system?
  • Coordinated urban growth – What can be achieved through the planning system to streamline infrastructure delivery, and what other policy levers will help to address these challenges?
  • The role of construction in housing affordability - What role do input costs play in driving of new housing supply in Australia and what effect does construction have on prices?
  • Defining overcrowding - How should overcrowding be defined and measured in the Australian context?
  • Housing for sustainable remote communities - How can housing policy support the economic, social and environmental sustainability of remote communities?
  • Social housing asset lifecycle management - How can policy makers and housing providers maximise benefit from social housing assets?
  • Cost offsets of social housing provision - What are the cost savings accrued to the whole of government through the provision of stable, appropriate social housing?
  • Housing people with disabilities - How can the housing needs of people with disability be best served?
  • Development in my backyard - How can community support for urban consolidation be fostered?
  • New housing and investment - How might governments incentivise private investment in affordable housing?

For the first time, AHURI is introducing Scoping projects to the research agenda to support the next generation of housing researchers. These shorter timeframe projects must include an early career researcher as an investigator, working in collaboration with senior researchers. Scoping project topics are:

  • Scoping prejudicial discrimination in the private rental system - To what extent is there prejudicial discrimination in the Australian private rental system, and what can be done about it?
  • Scoping the potential and challenges of housing data sources - What data is available, how can it be used and what data is needed to support Australian housing and urban research and policy?
  • Scoping Indigenous housing research capacity and research approaches - How can we develop Indigenous housing research capacity and knowledge of appropriate research methods in Indigenous contexts?
  • Scoping the modern key worker challenge in Australian cities - How can we ensure that low income key workers can access affordable housing in our cities?