What is this study about?

This AHURI funded project is investigating the types and impacts of prejudicial discrimination in the private rental housing sector. It will highlight the intersections of age, race, gender, sexuality, and technology. The project will deliver an international research evidence review and scope a research and policy agenda with housing practitioners from urban and regional Australia.

What do I need to do?

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Workshop Schedule – 25th September

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Workshop Participants

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Prof. Heather MacDonald

Professor and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at UTS

Urban planning (policy and practice)

Housing and racial discrimination

The geography of rental housing discrimination, segregation, and social exclusion: New evidence from Sydney
Dr Emma Power

Senior Lecturer in School of Social Sciences at Western Sydney University

Housing policy

Women, older people and rentals

Older women in the Private Rental Sector: Unaffordable, Substandard and insecure housing
A/Prof. Yolande Strengers

Associate Professor and leader of the energy futures theme in the Emerging Technologies Research Lab, Monash.

Living with technology in the home

Energy and housing policy

The Smart Wife: Why Siri, Alexa, and Other Smart Home Devices Need a Feminist Reboot
Dr Desiree Fields

Assistant Professor of Geography and Global Metropolitan Studies at the University of California, Berkeley

Rental housing and crisis-as-opportunity

Technology and housing

Constructing a New Asset Class: Property-led Financial Accumulation after the Crisis
Dr Erin McElroy

Postdoctoral researcher at the AI Now Institute at New York University

Anti-eviction mapping and advocacy

Technology and housing

Data, dispossession, and Facebook: techno-imperialism and toponymy in gentrifying San Francisco
A/Prof. Rae Dufty-Jones

Associate Professor at Western Sydney University and Co-Lead of the ‘Sustainable and Prosperous’ Theme in the NSW Public Policy Institute

History of housing policy and crisis

Housing and racial discrimination

Policy in NSW

A historical geography of housing crisis in Australia
A/Prof. Shanthi Robertson

Associate Professor at the School of Humanities and Communication Arts and an ICS School-based Member and Institute Fellow

Migration, housing and ethnoburbs

Immigration policy

Education, real estate, immigration: brokerage assemblages and Asian mobilities
Leo Patterson Ross

CEO, Tenants Union NSW

Cold-face tenant experience

Tenancy law and advocacy

Rent and crisis: Old housing problems require a new state of exception in Australia
Prof. Yin Paradies

Alfred Deakin Professor and Chair in Race Relations, Deakin University

Racial discrimination and health

Racial and anti-discrimination policy

Experiences of racism among older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: prevalence, sources, and association with mental health
John Engeler

Shelter, Chief Executive Officer

Aged Care and housing

Policy and Advocacy

 NSW Housing Strategy Discussion Paper, Shelter NSW Submission
Jemima Mowbray

Policy and Advocacy Co-ordinator, Tenants Union NSW

Cold-face tenant experience

Tenancy law and advocacy

No grounds for limiting reform under COVID-19


COVID-19 and this Expert Panel

COVID-19 is having a major impact on society and we expect the workshop conversations will have to address questions about the pandemic and rental housing. However, we do not want to focus on COVID-19 and housing in particular in this workshop. We are interested in the longstanding, systemic discriminatory features of the private rental system in this expert panel. Therefore, we have provided below a position from one of the researchers in our team about how we might think about COVID-19 and the private rental sector for the purposes of this workshop.

Below is an Excerpt from an AHURI Policy Brief [download] 
by Dallas Rogers and Keith Jacobs

First, housing policy makers should not be adopting a COVID-19 response if it means ignoring longstanding inequities by drawing a line between the present pandemic and the housing policies that proceed it.

Second, the pandemic should be seen as an opportunity to see the longstanding housing problems in sharper relief, and use this insight to reset the power dynamics that have accentuated inequalities in the housing system. The pandemic might have more to teach us about the past than the future, at least at this point in time.

Third, a poor outcome of the pandemic would be to assume that the underlying systemic features of the housing system have been eclipsed by COVID-19, and are no longer relevant for housing analysis.

While COVID-19 might be seen like a rupture to policymakers, it is housing researchers’ job to also show the continuities; to show the ways in which housing systems remain intact and continue to discriminate against some while generating wealth for others.

Project Team

Dr Sophia Maalsen, Lecturer and DECRA Research Fellow in the School of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney

Dr Caitlin Buckle, Research Associate in Housing Studies in the School of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney

Dr Peta Wolifson, Post-doctoral Fellow in the School of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney

Dr Jacqueline Nelson, Senior Researcher in the NSW Public Policy Institute

Dr Dallas Rogers, Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney