Watch: Affordable housing seminar series


10 Jul 2020 - Survey results find that many people living in share housing in Victoria are facing a precarious future as a result of COVID-19, with reports of job losses and financial stress.

2 Minute read

Interested in current issues in housing research? You can now watch the Affordable Housing Hallmark Research Initiative seminar series on demand.

About the sessions

Designed to showcase a range of perspectives, each panel focuses on one of our seed-funded research projects, with discussion led by University researchers.

Take a deep dive into topics such as housing for people with disabilities, how housing affects health and the housing challenges faced by Melbourne’s African migrants.

Thank you to the speakers and audiences who took part in this years seminar series #HallmarkSeminars2020

Expanding crisis accommodation for victim-survivors of family violence

The family violence sector is in crisis. Despite an increasing number of vacant properties in amenity rich cities such as Melbourne, there is insufficient quality crisis accommodation available to women. Those who can access crisis accommodation often remain stuck in limbo, unable to transition to long-term stable affordable housing due to lack of supply – compromising their ability to recover and increasing their risk of returning to their perpetrators.


Erika Martino, Research Fellow in Healthy Housing, Melbourne School of Global and Population Health

Jeanette Large, CEO, Women's Property Initiatives

Kathleen Flanagan, Research Fellow; Deputy Director Housing and Community Research Unit, University of Tasmania

Carolyn Whitzman, Adjunct Professor, University of Ottawa

Facilitated by Katrina Raynor, Research Fellow and Convenor of the Affordable Housing Hallmark Research Initiative

How housing affects your health: the case of indoor environment

The panel discusses the use of simulation modelling approach to measure health gains achievable through changing exposure to indoor cold, and compare to those achievable through other ways to prevent heart disease. The panel also included discussion of how energy engineering can assist to optimise indoor air quality.


Ankur Singh, Research Fellow in epidemiology specialising in housing related health inequalities

Lucy Telfar Barnard, public health researcher at the University of Otago, Wellington specialising in housing quality and health outcomes

Lu Aye, Professor of Infrastructure Engineering  specialising in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies

Lyrian Daniel, Research Fellow in the Housing and Healthy Cities Research Group, The University of Adelaide Panel

Chaired by Rebecca Bentley, Professor in Healthy Housing at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

Boom! A new history of post-war apartments in Australia

The panel discusses the post-war apartment boom in Sydney and Melbourne illustrating a wide range of projects from walk-ups to towers, state-built housing and privately led development, luxury dwellings to cramped quarters, and the innovative solutions promulgated at the end of the 1960s. We also considered various prejudices against much of the flat typology and its residents, from the moral panic of the post-war ‘Australian way of life’, to the at times thinly veiled disdain of the avant-garde.


Dr Caroline Butler-Bowden, Executive Director, Public Spaces at NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Professor Philip Goad, Chair of Architecture, University of Melbourne

Professor Paul Walker, Professor of Architecture, University of Melbourne

Catherine Townsend, Research Assistant and PhD Candidate, University of Melbourne

Facilitated by Professor Alan Pert, Head of the Melbourne School of Design.

Exploring housing options and challenges with Melbourne's African migrants

A considerable number of migrants from the Horn of Africa reside in public housing estates in inner Melbourne suburbs. These communities’ resettlement in Australia has been marked by inequalities and marginalisation. These conditions, combined with migrants’ previous experiences of forced displacement and war trauma, have negatively impacted their livelihood and financial conditions, limiting their housing alternatives. Thus, public housing estates have become a common ground for the reconstruction of lives, communities and the sense of home in conditions of precarity and exclusion.


Dr Sandra Carrasco Mansilla, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Newcastle

Dr James P. Chaney, Assistant Professor, Middle Tennessee State University

Tewelde Kidane, Chairman, Melbourne Eritrean United Community

Dr Majdi Faleh, Teaching Assistant & Researcher, the University of Western Australia

Professor Paul Walker, Professor of Architecture at The University of Melbourne

A home for the diaspora – from the Horn of Africa to Melbourne's public housing

Watch the launch and panel discussion for the new book A home for the diaspora – from the Horn of Africa to Melbourne's public housing (PDF) by Sandra Carrasco, Neeraj Dangol and Majdi Faleh

Hear the stories of migrants and refugees from the Horn of Africa in Melbourne's public housing estates. Understand how identity – including cultural values and religious practices – informs their lives. Learn how residents, families and communities have developed through determination and resilience, despite the challenges of forced migration due to war, poverty and unrest.

COVID-19 and vulnerable households: Impacts and Solutions

While COVID-19’s impacts are being felt broadly, some households are more vulnerable than others. The panel discuss emerging insights into the impact of COVID-19, highlighting international responses and potential solutions to support vulnerable households and individuals. Presenters focus on three key groups with unique vulnerabilities to COVID-19: occupants of share houses, older women at risk of homelessness and those currently experiencing homelessness.


Kate Raynor – Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Convenor of the Hallmark Research Initiative for Affordable Housing

Ken Gibb – Professor in Housing Economics at the University of Glasgow and Director of the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence

Kate Colvin – Manager of Policy and Communications for the Council to Homeless Persons and Spokesperson for the Everybody’s Home campaign

Emma Power – Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University, Editor International Journal of Housing Policy

Facilitated by Ilan Wiesel, Lens leader, Markets and Policy, Hallmark Research Initiative for Affordable Housing.

Affordable housing contributions: Are voluntary negotiations working?

In June 2018 the Victorian Government made changes to the Planning and Environment Act designed to encourage the negotiation of Affordable Housing Agreements between developers and local governments. This was a big step in the right direction, delivering a definition, a mandate and a mechanism for generating affordable housing through the planning system.

Experts in valuation, development, urban planning and housing policy to discuss their experiences and perspectives on affordable housing agreements in the last two years. They also detail their visions for how current attempts to use the planning system to deliver affordable housing could be improved.


Georgia Warren-Myers - Senior lecturer in Property at The University of Melbourne.

Kate Raynor - Post-doctoral Research Fellow and Convenor of the Affordable Housing Hallmark Initiative at University of Melbourne

Ben Cantwell - National General Manager, Communities, Built Form at Stockland; National Build to Rent Roundtable, Property Council of Australia

Steph Harper - Manager, Residential Investment (inc Build to Rent | Affordable Housing) at CBRE

Melanie O'Neil - Senior Social Policy Planning and Policy Officer at Hobsons Bay City Council and Research Assistant - Affordable Housing at The University of Melbourne

Fit for purpose? Regulations around housing for people with disabilities

The conditions that govern the production and occupation of a dwelling in Australia are complex. Some are national in scope, others state-based or situated at local council level.

Current policy at national and state levels are that the private sector will invest in, and provide the bulk of the new dwellings needed to transition people with a disability from the group-home/residential-facilities to the general community.


Andrew Martel - Lecturer in Construction Management and Architecture at the University of Melbourne.

Owen Jourdain - Founder and Managing Director of Illowra Projects and Deputy Chair of SDA Alliance.

Shane Leonard - Director at Philip Chun Building Compliance

Tony Rutherford - Partner at Law Firm Mills Oakley with a specialisation in Property and Construction.

Facilitated by Ilan Wiesel, Markets and Policy lens leader at the Hallmark Research Initiative for Affordable Housing.

First published on 9 May 2022.

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