College of Arts, Law and Education

Past News and Events

Past News


New HACRU Director (Aug 2012)

Professor Keith Jacobs has recently been awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (see below). Congratulations to Keith for this substantial achievement. His study will investigate some of Australia's key housing problems (see below) and he will remain as a core member of HACRU.

The new director of the Housing and Community Research Unit is Associate Professor Daphne Habibis. Daphne studied sociology at the London School of Economics in the UK before joining the School of Sociology and Social Work at the University of Tasmania. Her most recent position was sociology discipline head, Launceston campus. She has published widely on housing and urban policy issues especially in relation to tenancy sustainment and Aboriginal housing. She has been the chief investigator on a number of Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute research projects. Her current research projects include investigating the relationship between welfare conditionality and Aboriginal housing outcomes, and new and emerging forms of tenancy management in remote Aboriginal communities.

Please contact Daphne Habibis with any queries.


ARC Future Fellowship Award (Aug 2012)

Keith Jacobs, Director of HACRU, has been awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship 2012-2016. The title of Keith's project is 'Conflicts and challenges: A sociological investigation of key problems in Australian housing policy making'. His research will involve case studies in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, as well as comparative studies to be undertaken in the UK and Sweden. The funding conditions of the Future Fellowship award require Keith to step down from his role as Director of HACRU. The University will shortly be advertising for a new director of HACRU. >


Past Events


Conference: Australasian Housing Researchers Conference 2015

In February 2015 HACRU are convening the 8th Annual AHRC Conference at the University of Tasmania, Hobart.

The Australasian Housing Researchers conference is an annual conference that was established in 2006 as an interdisciplinary forum for the housing research community. It provides an opportunity for social scientists from the university and industry sectors to network, present research findings and critically consider contemporary issues in housing theory and policy.

Keynotes include:

For further information please contact the conference managers.

The conference is supported by the University of Tasmania's Housing and Community Research Unit, and the Institute for the Study of Social Change.


Workshop: Housing Economic Workshop

On Wednesday 2nd July 2014, HACRU presented a Housing Economics Workshop led by Professor Peter Phibbs (University of Sydney).

Housing economics is an important component of many research projects involving a range of housing issues. This workshop investigated key economic issues involved in housing and housing research and covered:

  • Approaches to cost analysis including cost-effectiveness analysis and benefit cost analysis
  • Economic issues in program evaluation
  • Key data sets
  • What is a housing market?

The discussion included how these topics have been addressed in AHURI projects that Peter has been involved with.


Seminar: Rachel Ong

On Thursday 24th July, HACRU hosted Associate Professor Rachel Ong (Curtin University, Western Australia) who presented a seminar on "Mortgage Equity Withdrawal in Australia: Recent Trends and Institutional Settings."

"Australian tax preferences and asset test concessions have traditionally favoured wealth accumulation in the primary home, with added impetus lent by a decade-long period of sustained house price appreciation prior to the global financial crisis. The primary home is increasingly viewed by governments worldwide as a key store of wealth that can perform a welfare role in retirement in an era of population ageing. This paper presents mortgage equity withdrawal trends in Australia, and assesses whether the Australian institutional environment encourages mortgage equity withdrawal drawing on a selective international review of six developed countries. The review suggests that Australia's institutional settings offer relatively favourable conditions for equity withdrawal that has encouraged Australian homeowners to tap into their housing equity at earlier stages of the life course. To the extent that mortgage equity withdrawal is exercised over the life course (and not just post-retirement), more Australians will approach retirement carrying outstanding mortgage debt burdens. These findings have implications for the effectiveness of retirement income systems and the role of housing wealth as an asset base for welfare in old age."


Conference: ACE ESAM Conference 2014


The first ever joint meetings of the Australian Conference of Economists (ACE) and Econometric Society Australasian Meeting (ESAM) were held in Hobart, Tasmania, hosted by the University of Tasmania on 1-4 July 2014.

On Thursday 3rd July, HACRU hosted two housing panels:

Panel 1, 1:45 - 2:45pm
Three things that will fix the housing affordability crisis

Prof Peter Phibbs, Chair of Urban Planning and Policy, USYD
Prof Richard Eccleston, Director, Institute for the Study of Social Change, UTAS
Mr Rob Brooker, Head of Australian Economics and Commodities, NAB
Discussant: Dr Michael Fotheringham, Deputy Executive Director, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute

Panel 2, 2:45 - 3:45pm
Implications of the NDIS for housing and social service reform

Prof David Adams, Prof of Management and Innovation, UTAS
Dr Ilan Vizel, City Futures Research Centre, UNSW
Dr Ceridwen Owen, Deputy Head, School of Architecture and Design, UTAS
Discussant: Dr Michael Fotheringham, Deputy Executive Director, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute


Seminar: AHURI Housing Research Seminar - Hobart, 14 June 2012

Downloads available for PowerPoint and audio presentations by Keith Jacobs on 'stigma and public housing' and Michelle Gabrielle on 'environmental sustainability and the private rental market'.


Symposium: Housing theory symposium: Home, objects and things, 19 - 20 March 2012

A symposium organised by the Housing and Community Research Unit. Photographs from the symposium (PDF 844KB).


Seminar: Urban inequalities, local public services and middle class community activism: making the connections, 9 December 2011

A seminar organised by the Housing and Community Research Unit. Speaker: Annette Hastings, Leader Neighbourhoods and Wellbeing Research Group, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow.


Seminar: Contemporary Design in Social Housing, 18 January 2011

A presentation organised by the Housing and Community Research Unit. Speaker: Paul Johnston, Paul Johnston Architects, Hobart


Seminar: Suburban Australia: A retrospective view, 27 June 2010

A seminar organised by the Housing and Community Research Unit. Speaker: Prof. Adrian Franklin, School of Sociology and Social Work, University of Tasmania.


HACRU forum: A public conversation about public housing, 5 June 2008

A discussion forum organised by the Housing and Community Research Unit


Symposium: Home/City/Neighbourhood/+ Mediating points and containers in contemporary urban social life, 13 & 14 December 2007

A symposium organised by the Housing and Community Research Unit. Key speaker: Professor Tim Butler, King's College London.


Seminar: SBOs and Australia - Anti-social behaviour, housing and the law, 31 August 2007

Judy Nixon (Principal Lecturer in Studies into Anti-Social Behaviour, UK), Michele Slatter (Flinders, School of Law), Caroline Hunter (Senior Lecturer in Housing Law)


Seminar: Urban summit: The Urban 45: New Ideas for Australian Cities, 16 August 2007

State Library, Melbourne


Seminar: Housing improvement and health: a systematic review of world literature, 2 July 2007

Hilary Thomson, Medical Research Council, University of Glasgow


Seminar: Social mix and Public Housing, 16 February, 2007

Kathy Arthurson (Swinburne University) and Kathy Arthurson (Newcastle University).


Symposium: Housing and Theory, 14-15 February, 2007

Key speaker - Professor Philip O'Neill of the Urban Research Centre, UWS. A special issue of Housing, Theory and Society is in production with papers selected from this meeting.